The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) has now released the July Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), also known as the ISM Services PMI. The headline Composite Index is at percent 58.1, up 1.0 from 57.1 last month. Today's number came in above the Investing.com forecast of 55.0 percent.

Here is the report summary:

“The Services PMI™ registered 58.1 percent, 1 percentage point higher than the June reading of 57.1 percent. This reading represents growth in the services sector for the second straight month after contraction in April and May, preceded by a 122-month period of expansion." [Source]

Unlike its much older kin, the ISM Manufacturing Series, there is relatively little history for ISM's Non-Manufacturing data, especially for the headline Composite Index, which dates from 2008. The chart below shows the Non-Manufacturing Composite. We have only a single recession to gauge is behavior as a business cycle indicator.

The more interesting and useful subcomponent is the Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index. The latest data point at 67.2 percent is up 1.2 from a seasonally adjusted 66.0 the previous month.

ISM Non-Manufacturing

For a diffusion index, this can be an extremely volatile indicator, hence the addition of a six-month moving average to help us visualize the short-term trends.

Theoretically, this indicator should become more useful as the time frame of its coverage expands. Manufacturing may be a more sensitive barometer than Non-Manufacturing activity, but we are increasingly a services-oriented economy, which explains our intention to keep this series on the radar.

Here is a table showing the trend in the underlying components.

Here is a link to our coverage of the latest ISM Manufacturing report.


We will publish our next ISM Non-Manufacturing report on September 3.

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