Yesterday, the Institute for Supply Management released its latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business. It indicated that service-related business activity slowed in September, with the overall non-manufacturing index falling to 54.4 from last month's reading of 58.6. At 55.1 the business activity index plunged since last month, declining 7.55% below the level seen a year earlier.
This month, service industry respondents are sounding a bit down with respondents citing slowing activity, flat business and uncertainty over healthcare costs:
- "Overall business conditions are slowing -- small manpower decrease of 5%." (Construction)
- "Business levels continue to be strong. Shifting from transient to group travelers." (Accommodation and Food Services)
- "Increased activity following summer vacations, but several postponements as well. Clients still unsure about the economy and business costs (e.g., healthcare)." (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)
- "The federal government's spending is increasing greatly as agencies execute their final budgets and utilize fiscal year 2013 appropriated funds prior to their expiration on Sept. 30. This has caused a major increase in procurement activity for goods and services. Budgets are uncertain for fiscal year 2014, so some items requiring funding in future years are not being purchased." (Public Administration)
- "Business has leveled off -- not much in the way of growth." (Retail Trade)
- "Some pickup in sequential sales growth, but still flat with last year." (Wholesale Trade)