Daily News: January 6, 2012

U.S. Services Sector Growth ‘Slightly Faster’ in December


Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in December for the 25th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) latest Report on Business Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI).

“The NMI registered 52.6% in December, 0.6 percentage point higher than the 52% registered in November, and indicating continued growth at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

A reading above 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 56.2%, which is the same reading as reported in November, reflecting growth for the 29th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 0.2 percentage point to 53.2%. The Employment Index increased 0.5 percentage point to 49.4%, indicating contraction in employment for the third time in the last four months. The Prices Index decreased 1.3 percentage points to 61.2%, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in December when compared to November.

The 11 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in December based on the NMI composite index – listed in order – are: Retail Trade; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Finance & Insurance; Information; Construction; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Public Administration; Educational Services; Mining; and Transportation & Warehousing.

The seven industries reporting contraction in December – listed in order – are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Management of Companies & Support Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

To read the full report, click here.