U.S. non-manufacturing sector grew for the 96th consecutive month
This is according to the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
The report was issued by Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: "The NMI registered 55.9 percent, which is 1.5 percentage points lower than the November reading of 57.4 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slower rate.
"The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 57.3 percent, 4.1 percentage points lower than the November reading of 61.4 percent, reflecting growth for the 101st consecutive month, at a slower rate in December.
"The New Orders Index registered 54.3 percent, 4.4 percentage points lower than the reading of 58.7 percent in November. The Employment Index increased 1 percentage point in December to 56.3 percent from the November reading of 55.3 percent.
"The Prices Index increased by 0.1 percentage point from the November reading of 60.7 percent to 60.8 percent, indicating that prices increased in December for the seventh consecutive month. According to the NMI, 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth.
"There has been a second consecutive month of pullback in the rate of growth. Overall, the majority of respondents' comments indicate that they finished the year on a positive note.
"They also indicate optimism for business conditions and the economic outlook going forward." ■