There are two parts to the monthly PMI releases: the headline PMI number, designed to provide a snapshot of the health of the economy, and the sub-indices, or component-level data. The sub-indices provide insight into key economic drivers, such as inflation, exports, employment and inventories.
Each country PMI survey for the manufacturing or service sector is based on questionnaire responses from panels of senior purchasing executives (or similar) at over 400 companies. The survey panels are carefully recruited to accurately represent the true structure of that sector.
Questionnaires are completed in the second half of each month, and survey results are then processed by IHS Markit economists. Respondents are asked to state whether business conditions for a number of variables have improved, deteriorated or stayed the same compared with the previous month, as well as to provide reasons for any changes.
The questionnaire covers the following economic variables:
Manufacturing - Output, new orders, new export orders, backlogs of work, output prices, input prices, suppliers’ delivery times, stocks of finished goods, quantity of purchases, stocks of purchases, employment
Services - Business activity, new business, backlogs of work, prices charged, input prices, employment, expectations for activity
Construction - Total activity, residential activity, commercial activity, civil engineering activity, new orders, employment, quantity of purchases, suppliers’ delivery times, input prices, sub-contractor usage, sub-contractor availability, sub-contractor rates, sub-contractor quality, future activity
Whole Economy - Output, new orders, new export orders, backlogs of work, output prices, overall input prices, purchase prices, staff costs, suppliers’ delivery times, quantity of purchases, stocks of purchases, employment