The Institute for Supply Management index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 51.6 in February, 2.4 percentage points lower than January's reading of 54 percent. Employment and prices decreased while new orders slightly improved.
The New Orders Index registered 51.3 percent, 0.4 percentage point higher than the reading of 50.9 percent registered in January. The Employment Index decreased 8.9 percentage points to 47.5 percent from the January reading of 56.4 percent and indicates contraction in employment for the first time after 25 consecutive months of growth. The Prices Index decreased 3.4 percentage points from the January reading of 57.1 percent to 53.7 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in February when compared to January.
According to the NMI, ten non-manufacturing industries reported growth in February. The majority of respondents' comments indicate a slowing in the rate of growth month over month of business activity. Some of the respondents attribute this to weather conditions. Overall respondents' comments reflect cautiousness regarding business conditions and the economy."
3/5/2014 3:15:37 PM