ISM: Service Sector Activity Increases

The Institute for Supply Management released numbers today showing an uptick in growth for the non-manufacturing sector in November, with business activity increasing 5.8 percentage points over October. This is the 40th month in a row in which this metric rose.

The overall NMI registered 54.7% in November, 0.5 percentage points higher than the October number.

The latest survey of non-manufacturing industries shows that 11 reported growth for the month of November, while six noted a contraction for the month. Comments were a mixed bag, with some respondents feeling that consumer optimism is increasing, and that sales are responding. Others noted the continued uncertainty businesses feel toward the economy and current political climate.

Despite this lack of confidence, overall employment grew for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slower rate. New orders also increased, with a 3.3-percentage-point bump in the index from the previous month. Inventories contracted, though this was represented as a seasonal downsizing as the winter approaches. The Inventory Sentiment Index dropped by 1.5 percentage points, indicating that survey participants consider their inventory too high for the time of year.

The Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business presents a national profile of the non-manufacturing sector, and reflects information gathered from purchasing and supply managers on a month-to-month basis. The report is released by ISM on the third business day of each month.

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