Service Sector Notches Gain Despite Worsening Inflation and Tight Supplies

Summary The service sector ISM posted a modest increase to 58.3 in March. Inflation and supply chain issues have been among the top challenges for the service sector for months, and Russia’s war on Ukraine has worsened both. But despite these headwinds, orders and activity both ramped up a bit and businesses are finally netting some new hires. Same Problems Made Worse By War The ISM services index rose in March to 58.3, a welcome improvement, but short of expectations for a more stout increase. After two difficult years, this was supposed to be the beginning of better times for the service industry. The receding of the Omicron surge, a broadening of office workers returning to the office at least a few days a week, and some incipient improvement with supply chains might have put activity back into the swing of something reminiscent of normal. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rained on the parade by making supply problems and inflation worse. READ FULL ARTICLE>>