Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| May 03 2023

U.S. ISM Services PMI Rebounds in April

  • 51.9 in Apr. vs. 51.2 in Mar., showing expansions from June ’20 except Dec. ’22.
  • Sub-indexes are mixed: new orders (56.1) and supplier deliveries (48.6) rise while business activity (52.0) and employment (50.8) decline.
  • Prices index ticks up to 59.6, having been above the 50-dividing line since June ’17.

The U.S. ISM Services PMI was at 51.9 in April, slightly up from 51.2 in March but down from 55.1 in February, according to today’s report by the Institute for Supply Management, indicating expansion for the fourth straight month at a slightly faster pace. The April reading was modestly below 57.5 in April 2022 and a 67.6 peak in November 2021. The 12-month average was 54.5, reflecting consistently strong growth in the U.S. services sector. The Action Economics Forecast Survey had expected 51.8 for April.

Haver Analytics constructs a composite index combining the services index and the manufacturing reading. This index increased to 51.4 in April after falling to 50.7 in March, showing expansion for the fourth consecutive month at a slightly stronger pace. These readings, however, remained down from 57.3 in April 2022 and a record 66.9 in November 2021. These series date back to July 1997.

In the latest services survey, the new orders index rebounded to 56.1 in April from 52.2 in March, indicating expansion for the fourth successive month at a faster rate. The index was above 55.8 in April 2022 and a record 69.2 in October 2021. An increased 29.7% of respondents (NSA) reported more orders while 10.4% reported a decline. The supplier deliveries index (NSA) rose to 48.6 in April after decreasing to 45.8 in March, but it was well below 65.1 in April last year. Nearly twelve percent of respondents (NSA) reported faster delivery speeds while 8.9% reported slower speeds. Meanwhile, the employment index declined to 50.8 in April from 51.3 in March, indicating expansion for the fourth straight month but at a slightly slower pace. The index was higher than a contraction-level 49.7 in April last year. About twenty percent of respondents (NSA) indicated higher employment while a lessened 16.4% reported a decline. The business activity index fell to 52.0 in April from 55.4 in March, indicating business activity expanded for 35 consecutive months but at a slower pace. The index was below 59.2 in April 2022 and a record 70.4 in November 2021. Nearly twenty-five percent of respondents (NSA) reported higher activity in April while a lessened 10.8% reported an activity decline.

The prices index edged up to 59.6 in April after falling to 59.5 in March. The index was meaningfully below 83.2 in April 2022 and a record 84.5 in December 2021. An increased 30.7% of respondents (NSA) reported price rises while only 4.6% reported price decreases.

Additionally, the new export orders index recovered to 60.9 in April from a contraction-level 43.7 in March, indicating expansion in new export orders for the third time in four months. The imports index rebounded to 51.3 from March’s contraction-level 43.6, registering the seventh expansion in eight months. The backlog of orders index increased to 49.7 in April after falling to 48.5 in March, showing contraction for the second successive month; it remained down from a record 67.3 in October 2021. In contrast, the inventory change index fell to 47.2 from March’s 52.8, indicating that inventories contracted in April for the first time since January; however, the index was up from a 44.1 low in September. These series are not seasonally adjusted and not included in the ISM Services PMI total.

The ISM figures are available in Haver's USECON database, with additional detail in the SURVEYS database. The expectations figure from Action Economics is in the AS1REPNA database.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has almost 20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   A bilingual (English and Thai) with competency in French, Winnie loves to travel (almost 30 countries) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

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