Daily News: September 6, 2012

ISM: U.S. Services Sector Activity Grows in August

The Institute for Supply Management said its Non-Manufacturing Index registered
53.7% in August, 1.1 percentage points higher than the 52.6% registered in July. This indicates continued growth this month at a slighter faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 32nd consecutive month.

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 55.6%, which is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 57.2% reported in July, reflecting growth for the 37th consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 0.6 percentage point to 53.7%. The Employment Index increased by 4.5 percentage points to 53.8%, indicating growth in employment after one month of contraction. The Prices Index increased 9.4 percentage points to 64.3%, indicating substantially higher month-over-month prices when compared to July. Respondents’ comments continue to be mixed, and for the most part reflect uncertainty about business conditions and the economy.

The ten non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in August – listed in order – are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Finance & Insurance; Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; Management of Companies & Support Services; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Transportation & Warehousing; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Other Services.

The five industries reporting contraction in August are: Mining; Wholesale Trade; Information; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Health Care & Social Assistance.