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ISM reports growth for the 38th consecutive month in the U.S. service sector
On a report issued today, March 5, the ISM reported a rise in the Institute’s services index to 56.0, higher than the 55.2 registered in January, and above the average estimate at 55.0. The reading also reflects the highest since February 2012, when the index registered 56.1.
A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting. Note that the services sector comprises around 70 percent of the U.S. total output.
According to the ISM, eleven industries reported increased business activity, and six reported decreased activity for February.
The non-manufacturing index for Business activity rose to 56.9, up from 56.4 in January. The report cited increased consumer spending and growth in the marketplace.
New Orders Index rose to 58.2, from 54.4 in January. Comments from surveyed respondents include: "Growing popularity of our products and services" and "2013 capital budgets approved."
The Price Index climbed jumped to 61.7 in February, from 58.0 in the prior month.
Employment index decreased to 57.2, from 57.5 in January. New Export Orders index rose to 60.5 in February, from 55.5 previously.
Inventory Index decreased to 62.5, from 64.0 in January. Comments from respondents include: "New product launch" and "Preparation for Chinese New Year."