US Services Sector Slumps As New Orders Crash Most Since Lehman

Confirming the mixed picture from Markit (Manufacturing PMI up, Services PMI down), ISM Services printed a disappointing 55.9 (57.6 exp), dropping to a 4-month low (as ISM manufacturing rises).

 

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Perhaps most notably, New Orders have utterly collapsed in the last 2 months post-Hurricanes...

 

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Additionally, Business Activity fell, as did backlogs...but there is quite a difference between manufacturing and services surveys...

 

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Respondents remain mixed:

"Many suppliers are proposing price increases, but few are being implemented. Increases in volume and efficiencies seem to be outperforming commodity pricing." (Accommodation & Food Services)

"December is slowing, as is seasonally expected after a strong fall. Business in general is strong [and] within the normal pattern of seasonal fluctuation." (Management of Companies & Support Services)

"Lumber prices are increasing due to product [being] damaged in the recent wildfires. Duties on steel from Vietnam is expected to cause an increase in steel prices. Ongoing shortages in construction related [to] labor continue to be a problem." (Construction)

"Ending the year with profits and business levels on track. 2018 is projected to be as productive with an optimistic outlook." (Finance & Insurance)
"IV solutions are still on national manufacturer back order. Hospital gauze back orders are also causing issues in the industry." (Health Care & Social Assistance)

"We are seeing a resurgence in the business activity of our oil and gas customers, in a positive direction that is impacting our sales." (Other Services)