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US services sector steady in November

Growth in the massive services sector of the US economy held steady in December, matching the brisk pace recorded in November, the Institute for Supply Management reported on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: Growth in the massive services sector of the US economy held steady in December, matching the brisk pace recorded in November, the Institute for Supply Management reported on Thursday (Jan 5).
The institute's Non-Manufacturing Index was 57.2 per cent, unchanged from November which was the highest for more than a year, but surpassing an analyst consensus which expected a decline to 56.6.
The services sector is the major driver of the world's largest economy and has been growing for 83 consecutive months, according to ISM. The index averaged 55 per cent in 2016.
Of the 15 non-manufacturing industries surveyed, 12 reported growth, including mining, retail and finance. Just three - public administration, wholesale trade and agriculture - saw declines in the final month of the year.
The survey showed retail businesses saw an uptick in sales over the holiday period, while labour in the construction sector continued to be scarce.
New orders saw a 4.6 point jump over November's results to 61.6 per cent, however, new export orders fell four points to 53 per cent, and the employment index fell to 53.8 per cent from 58.2 per cent.
One firm responding to the survey from the professional, scientific and technical services sector said, "activity seems to be increasing as more potential client inquiries have been coming in."
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the index bore "yet more signs of post-election euphoria."
"The index is elevated, relative to its usual relationship with the rate of growth of core retail sales, for the second straight month," he said in a note to clients.
"We think this reflects the post-election jump in optimism evident in other business and consumer surveys."
He added however that it remained to be seen whether the optimism would translate into stronger economic activity.
US services sector steady in November Reviewed by Kogonuso on 3:45 PM Rating: 5

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