Daily News: December 6, 2012

ISM: Services Sector Grows at Slightly Faster Rate

The Institute for Supply Management said its Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) registered 54.7% in November, 0.5 percentage point higher than the 54.2% registered in October. This indicates continued growth at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector.

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

In addition, ISM said economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in November for the 35th consecutive month.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 61.2%, which is 5.8 percentage points higher than the 55.4% reported in October, reflecting growth for the 40th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 3.3 percentage points to 58.1 percent. The Employment Index decreased by 4.6 percentage points to 50.3%, indicating growth in employment for the fourth consecutive month but at a slower rate. The Prices Index decreased 8.6 percentage points to 57%, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in November when compared to October.

According to the NMI, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in November. Respondents’ comments are mixed; however, the majority of survey respondents reflect a cautious optimism about current economic conditions.

The 11 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in November – listed in order – are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Utilities; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Finance & Insurance; Public Administration; Construction; Health Care & Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Other Services.

The six industries reporting contraction in November – listed in order – are: Mining; Educational Services; Management of Companies & Support Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Accommodation & Food Services; and Wholesale Trade.