ISM services index

Release Date: Usually comes out in the US on a monthly basis on the 3rd business day of the new month
Release Time: At 10am US Eastern Time
Released By: The Institute of Supply Managers

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index is a report released every month that measures the level of a diffusion index based on surveyed purchasing managers, excluding the manufacturing industry.

The report is derived via a survey of about 400 purchasing managers which asks respondents to rate the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries, and inventories. The data is compiled by the Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, made up of different industries and economic sectors diversified by their individual NAICS codes, based on each industry’s contribution to (GDP). The responses are divided into the following NAICS code categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Fishing & Hunting
  • Transportation & Warehousing
  • Construction
  • Utilities
  • Management of Companies & Support Services
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Finance & Insurance
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Retail Trade
  • Public Administration
  • Information
  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
  • Mining
  • Educational Services
  • Health Care & Social Assistance
  • Real Estate, Rental & Leasing
  • Other Services.

The report is also called the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI or the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

Time of Release

The ISM Services Index report usually comes out in the US on a monthly basis on the 3rd business day of the new month. The time of release is 10am US Eastern Time. The data is released on the website of the Institute of Supply Managers and also on independent news feeds from Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.

Interpreting the Data

The ISM Services Index is a high impact news release. It’s a leading indicator of economic health – businesses react quickly to market conditions, and their purchasing managers hold perhaps the most current and relevant insight into the company’s view of the economy.

The percentage reporting for each response to the conditions of each of the indicators measured (Business Activity, Employment, New Export Orders, Inventory Change, Inventory Sentiment, Imports, Prices, New Orders, Supplier Deliveries and Backlog of Orders) is reported, as well as the diffusion index.

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 baseline figure is taken to be 50.0. Figures above 50.0 are an indication of expansion in the services industry while figures below 50.0 indicate contraction. Seasonal adjustments commenced in January 2001.

When trading the ISM Services PMI, consider the actual figures in relation to the consensus figure. If the actual figure is higher than the consensus, then this would be seen as being USD positive. If the actual figure is lower than the consensus figure, it is seen as being USD negative.


The ISM Non-Manufacturing (Services) Index is generally given more importance than the ISM Manufacturing Index due to the seasonal adjustments to the ISM Services PMI data, which is seen as being more reflective of current conditions.