US Services Sector Growth At 5-Month Low: ISM
The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI index for the United States fell to 55.2 in March of 2017 after reaching a 16-month high of 57.6 in February and below market expectations of 57. It is the lowest reading since October of 2016 as production, new orders , employment and inventories slowed and inventories contracted.
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Decreases were seen in business activity (-4.7 to 58.9), new orders (-2.3 to 58.9), employment (-3.6 to 51.6), inventories (-3.5 to 48.5) and backlog of orders (-1 to 53). Prices also fell (-4.2 to 53.5). In contrast, improvements were seen in supplier deliveries (1 to 51.5), new export orders (5.5 to 62.5) and imports (5.5 to 56.5)
The 15 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in March are: Management of Companies & Support Services; Utilities; Wholesale Trade; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Accommodation & Food Services; Retail Trade; Health Care & Social Assistance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Transportation & Warehousing; Construction; Finance & Insurance; Other Services; and Public Administration. The three industries reporting contraction in March are: Information; Educational Services; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.
The majority of respondents’ comments indicate a positive outlook on business conditions and the overall economy. There were several comments about the uncertainty of future government policies on health care, trade and immigration, and the potential impact on business.