NMI report

FOR RELEASE: March 4, 2020

Contact:   Kristina Cahill
Report On Business® Analyst
ISM®, ROB/Research Manager
Tempe, Arizona
480-752-6276, Ext. 3015
E-mail: kcahill@instituteforsupplymanagement.org

 


February 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM®Report On Business®

NMI® at 57.3%


GDP Growing at 3%


Business Activity Index at 57.8%
New Orders Index at 63.1%
Employment Index at 55.6%

(Tempe, Arizona) – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 121st consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The NMI® registered 57.3 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the January reading of 55.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a faster rate. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 57.8 percent, 3.1 percentage points lower than the January reading of 60.9 percent, reflecting growth for the 127th consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 63.1 percent; 6.9 percentage points higher than the reading of 56.2 percent in January. The Employment Index increased 2.5 percentage points in February to 55.6 percent from the January reading of 53.1 percent. The Prices Index reading of 50.8 is 4.7 percentage points lower than the January’s 55.5 percent, indicating that prices increased in February for the 33rd consecutive month. According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector reflected continued growth in February. Most respondents are concerned about the coronavirus and its supply chain impact. They also continue to have difficulty with labor resources. They do remain positive about business conditions and the overall economy.”

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE

The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Construction; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Utilities; Information; and Retail Trade. The two industries reporting a decrease in February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING
  • “[The] coronavirus has increased lead times for the critical items.” (Construction)
  • “[First-quarter numbers] are slightly behind projections, but still positive.” (Finance & Insurance)
  • “Because of the coronavirus, we are looking at major back-orders in masks, gloves, and PPE (personal protection equipment). A lot of the masks are manufactured in China, so not only are we facing a shortage because of the virus, there is a drastic shortage because the masks are manufactured where the virus originated.” (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • “Business is rapidly improving.” (Management of Companies & Support Services)
  • “The business outlook remains positive, but foggy due to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak. The mining industry is well dependent on Chinese consumption. On the other side, it is difficult to [make] sourcing decisions, since it is not clear how long China will need to return to normal production capacity, and if it is worth it to pay more from other countries.” (Mining)
  • “The outlook appears positive, as our order book is nearing full capacity for the first half of 2020.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • “Construction activity appears to be getting off to a good start for 2020.” (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)
  • “A post-holiday slow period for retail. Business is strong overall; however, volume and inventories are lower due to the season. Pricing is still in check, with specialty labor the primary price risk.” (Retail Trade)
  • “A shortage of workers at several levels is impacting the quality of employees we are looking to hire for capital projects we need to start.” (Transportation & Warehousing

ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE COMPARISON OF ISM® NON-MANUFACTURING AND ISM® MANUFACTURING SURVEYS*
FEBRUARY 2020

  Non-Manufacturing Manufacturing
Index Series Index Feb Series Index Jan Percent Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend** (Months) Series Index Feb Series Index Jan Percent Point Change
NMI®/ PMI® 57.3 55.5 +1.8 Growing Faster 121 50.1 50.9 -0.8
Business Activity/ Production 57.8 60.9 -3.1 Growing Slower 127 50.3 54.3 -4.0
New Orders 63.1 56.2 +6.9 Growing Faster 127 49.8 52.0 -2.2
Employment 55.6 53.1 +2.5 Growing Faster 72 46.9 46.6 +0.3
Supplier Deliveries 52.4 51.7 +0.7 Slowing Faster 9 57.3 52.9 +4.4
Inventories 53.9 46.5 +7.4 Growing From Contracting 1 46.5 48.8 -2.3
Prices 50.8 55.5 -4.7 Increasing Slower 33 45.9 53.3 -7.4
Backlog of Orders 53.2 45.5 +7.7 Growing From Contracting 1 50.3 45.7 +4.6
New Export Orders 55.6 50.1 +5.5 Growing Faster 4 51.2 53.3 -2.1
Imports 52.6 55.1 -2.5 Growing Slower 2 42.6 51.3 -8.7
Inventory Sentiment 59.3 54.9 +4.4 Too High Faster 272 N/A N/A N/A
Customers' Inventories N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 41.8 43.8 -2.0
Overall Economy Growing Faster 127
Non-Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 121
Non-Manufacturing ISM®Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment Indexes. Manufacturing ISM®Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventory Indexes.

*Number of months moving in current direction.

COMMODITITES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY


Commodities Up in Price

Beef Products (3); Construction Contractors; Diesel Fuel*; Labor (2); Labor — Construction (2); Medical Supplies; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Pharmaceuticals (2); and Professional Services.

 

Commodities Down in Price

Cheese; Dairy; Diesel Fuel* (2); and Gasoline.

 

Commodities in Short Supply

Construction Contractors (4); Construction Subcontractors (26); Labor (17); Labor — Construction (47); Labor — Temporary (8); Medical Supplies; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Professional Services; Surgical Gowns (2); Surgical Masks; and Surgical Packs.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.
*Indicates both up and down in price.


FEBRUARY 2020 Non-Manufacturing Index Summaries


In February, the NMI® registered 57.3 percent, 1.8 percentage points higher than the 55.5 percent in January. This is the highest reading since February 2019, when the index registered 58.5 percent. The non-manufacturing sector grew for the 121st consecutive month. A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the February NMI® indicates growth for the 127th consecutive month in the overall economy and expansion in the non-manufacturing sector for the 121st consecutive month. Nieves says, “The past relationship between the NMI® and the overall economy indicates that the NMI® for February (57.3 percent) corresponds to a 3-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.”

NMI® History

Month NMI®
Feb 2020 57.3
Jan 2020 55.5
Dec 2019 54.9
Nov 2019 53.9
Oct 2019 54.4
Sep 2019 53.5
Month NMI®
Aug 2019 56.0
Jul 2019 54.8
Jun 2019 55.4
May 2019 56.3
Apr 2019 55.7
Mar 2019 56.3
55.3
57.3
53.5

Business Activity

ISM®’s Business Activity Index registered 57.8 percent in February, a decrease of 3.1 percentage points from the January reading of 60.9 percent. This represents growth in business activity for the 127th consecutive month. Thirteen industries reported increased business activity. Comments from respondents include: “Strong consumer demand” and “New accounts and demand for existing clients.”

The 13 industries reporting growth of business activity in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Transportation & Warehousing; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Other Services. The three industries reporting a decrease in business activity for the month of February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Information; and Utilities.

Business Activity % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 34.0 56.7 9.2 57.8
Jan 2020 29.7 53.0 17.3 60.9
Dec 2019 27 52 21 57.0
Nov 2019 24 56 20 52.3

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index registered 63.1 percent, an increase of 6.9 percentage points from the January reading of 56.2 percent. This is the highest reading since June 2018, when the index also registered 63.1 percent. New orders grew for the 127th consecutive month, at a faster rate compared with January. Comments from respondents include: “Increased to support the level of business” and “Requests continue to come in for future planned work.”

The 16 industries reporting growth of new orders in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Mining; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Public Administration; Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Utilities. The only industry reporting contraction in February is Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

New Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 39.6 52.3 8.0 63.1
Jan 2020 26.2 51.2 22.7 56.2
Dec 2019 25 55 20 55.3
Nov 2019 28 57 15 56.7

Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 72nd consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Employment Index registered 55.6 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the January reading of 53.1 percent. Eleven industries reported increased employment, and five industries reported decreased employment. Comments from respondents include: “Hiring labor needed to complete work order backlog” and “Human resources is working off their backlog.”

The 11 industries reporting an increase in employment in February — listed in order — are: Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Mining; Construction; Public Administration; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries reporting a reduction in employment in February are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Information; Transportation & Warehousing; and Utilities.

Employment % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 20.2 67.5 12.3 55.6
Jan 2020 16.9 69.4 13.7 53.1
Dec 2019 21 67 12 54.8
Nov 2019 21 66 13 54.9

Supplier Deliveries

The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 52.4 percent, which is 0.7 percentage point higher than the 51.7 percent reported in January. A reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries, while a reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries. Comments from respondents include: “Certain supplies delayed due to coronavirus-impacted countries” and “Suppliers cannot keep up with increased demand.”

The 11 industries reporting slower deliveries in February — listed in order — are: Information; Wholesale Trade; Utilities; Health Care & Social Assistance; Other Services; Construction; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; and Educational Services. The two industries reporting faster deliveries in February are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing.

Supplier Deliveries % Slower % Same % Faster Index
Feb 2020 10.4 84.0 5.6 52.4
Jan 2020 11.3 80.9 7.8 51.7
Dec 2019 9 87 4 52.5
Nov 2019 8 87 5 51.5

Inventories*

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Inventories Index grew in February after a month of contraction, registering 53.9 percent, which is 7.4 percentage points higher than the 46.5 percent reported in January. Of the total respondents in February, 39.1 percent indicated they do not have inventories or do not measure them. Comments from respondents include: “Bringing in additional product due to the flu season and the coronavirus” and “Continue to add inventory to meet higher demand.”

The eight industries reporting an increase in inventories in February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Finance & Insurance; Wholesale Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Public Administration. The nine industries reporting a decrease in inventories in February — listed in order — are: Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; Information; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Retail Trade; Educational Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; and Utilities.

Inventories % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 21.6 64.6 13.8 53.9
Jan 2020 19.8 53.5 26.8 46.5
Dec 2019 22 58 20 51.0
Nov 2019 20 61 19 50.5

Prices paid by non-manufacturing organizations for materials and services increased in February for the 33rd consecutive month. ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Prices Index registered 50.8 percent, which is 4.7 percentage points lower than the 55.5 that was reported in January. This is the lowest reading since May 2017, when the index registered 49.6 percent.

The 10 non-manufacturing industries that reported an increase in prices paid during the month of February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Utilities; Construction; Transportation & Warehousing; Management of Companies & Support Services; Public Administration; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Wholesale Trade; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries that reported a decrease in prices in February are: Accommodation & Food Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Mining; Information; and Finance & Insurance.

Prices % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 11.1 80.4 8.5 50.8
Jan 2020 15.6 79.7 4.7 55.5
Dec 2019 16 79 5 59.3
Nov 2019 18 76 6 58.8
NOTE: Commodities reported as up in price and down in price are listed in the commodities section of this report.

Backlog of Orders

ISM®’s Non-Manufacturing Backlog of Orders Index grew in February for the first time since September 2019. The index registered 53.2 percent, which is the 7.7 percentage points higher than the 45.5 percent reported in January. Of the total respondents in February, 50.4 percent indicated they do not measure backlog of orders.

The nine industries reporting an increase in order backlogs in February — listed in order — are: Accommodation & Food Services; Construction; Educational Services; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Transportation & Warehousing; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. The five industries that reported a decrease in backlogs in February are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Other Services; Mining; Wholesale Trade; and Utilities.

Backlog of Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 21.0 64.3 14.7 53.2
Jan 2020 12.7 65.7 21.7 45.5
Dec 2019 11 73 16 47.5
Nov 2019 14 69 17 48.5

New Export Orders

Orders and requests for services and other non-manufacturing activities to be provided outside of the U.S. by domestically based personnel grew in February. The New Export Orders Index registered 55.6 percent in February, which is 5.5 percentage points higher than the 50.1 percent reported in January. This is the highest reading since April 2019, when the index registered 57 percent. Of the total respondents in February, 71.7 percent indicated they either do not perform, or do not separately measure, orders for work outside of the U.S.

The seven industries reporting an increase in new export orders in February — listed in order — are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction; and Information. The three industries that reported a decrease in exports in February are: Public Administration; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Wholesale Trade. Eight industries reported no change in exports in February compared to January.

New Export Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 21.1 69.0 9.9 55.6
Jan 2020 8.4 83.4 8.2 50.1
Dec 2019 10 82 8 51.0
Nov 2019 13 78 9 52.0

The Imports Index grew for the second consecutive month following four consecutive months of contraction. The index registered 52.6 percent in February, 2.5 percentage points lower than January’s figure of 55.1 percent. Among respondents in February, 69.6 percent reported that they do not use, or do not track the use of, imported materials.

The five industries reporting an increase in imports for the month of February are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Utilities; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Wholesale Trade. The five industries that reported a decrease in imports in February are: Information; Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Educational Services; and Construction. Eight industries reported no change in imports in February as compared to January.

Imports % Higher % Same % Lower Index
Feb 2020 13.0 79.0 7.9 52.6
Jan 2020 17.2 75.8 7.0 55.1
Dec 2019 11 74 15 48.0
Nov 2019 3 84 13 45.0
*The Inventories, Customers' Inventories, Prices, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders and Imports Indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.

Inventory Sentiment

The ISM® Non-Manufacturing Inventory Sentiment Index in February registered 59.3 percent, 4.4 percentage points higher than the 54.9 percent reading in January. This indicates that respondents believe their inventories are still too high.

The 11 industries reporting sentiment that their inventories were too high in February — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Wholesale Trade; Other Services; Mining; Construction; Information; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Utilities. The two industries reporting a feeling that their inventories were too low in February are: Transportation & Warehousing and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

Inventory Sentiment

Inventory Sentiment % Too High % About Right % Too Low Index
Feb 2020 23.2 72.1 4.7 59.3
Jan 2020 14.4 80.9 4.7 54.9
Dec 2019 25 70 5 60.0
Nov 2019 23 71 6 58.5

About This Report

DO NOT CONFUSE THIS NATIONAL REPORT with the various regional purchasing reports released across the country. The national report's information reflects the entire U.S., while the regional reports contain primarily regional data from their local vicinities. Also, the information in the regional reports is not used in calculating the results of the national report. The information compiled in this report is for the month of February 2020.

The data presented herein is obtained from a survey of non-manufacturing supply executives based on information they have collected within their respective organizations. ISM® makes no representation, other than that stated within this release, regarding the individual company data collection procedures. The data should be compared to all other economic data sources when used in decision-making.

Data and Method of Presentation

The Non-Manufacturing ISM®Report On Business® is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide. Membership of the Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee is diversified by NAICS, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation & Warehousing; Information; Finance & Insurance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment & Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning & Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (Business Activity, New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Inventory Change, Inventory Sentiment, Imports, Prices, Employment and Supplier Deliveries), this report shows the percentage reporting each response and the diffusion index. Responses represent raw data and are never changed. Data is seasonally adjusted for Business Activity, New Orders, Prices and Employment. All seasonal adjustment factors are subject annually to relatively minor changes when conditions warrant them. The remaining indexes have not indicated significant seasonality.

The NMI® (Non-Manufacturing Index) is a composite index based on the diffusion indexes for four of the indicators with equal weights: Business Activity (seasonally adjusted), New Orders (seasonally adjusted), Employment (seasonally adjusted) and Supplier Deliveries. Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change and the scope of change. An index reading above 50 percent indicates that the non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally declining. Supplier Deliveries is an exception. A Supplier Deliveries Index above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries and below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries.

An NMI® above 48.5 percent, over time, indicates that the overall economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), is generally expanding; below 48.5 percent, it is generally declining. The distance from 50 percent or 48.5 percent is indicative of the strength of the expansion or decline.

The Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® survey is sent out to Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee respondents the first part of each month. Respondents are asked to ONLY report on information for the current month. ISM® receives survey responses throughout most of any given month, with the majority of respondents generally waiting until late in the month to submit responses in order to give the most accurate picture of current business activity. ISM® then compiles the report for release on the third business day of the following month.

The industries reporting growth, as indicated in the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® monthly report, are listed in the order of most growth to least growth. For the industries reporting contraction or decreases, those are listed in the order of the highest level of contraction/decrease to the least level of contraction/decrease.

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About Institute for Supply Management®

Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) serves supply management professionals in more than 90 countries. Its 50,000 members around the world manage about US$1 trillion in corporate and government supply chain procurement annually. Founded in 1915 as the first supply management institute in the world, ISM is committed to advancing the practice of supply management to drive value and competitive advantage for its members, contributing to a prosperous and sustainable world. ISM leads the profession through the ISM Report On Business®, its highly regarded certification programs and the ISM Mastery Model®. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® is posted on ISM®'s website at www.ismrob.org on the third business day* of every month after 10:00 a.m. ET.

The next Non-Manufacturing ISM®Report On Business® featuring March 2020 data will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET on Friday, April 3, 2020.

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