U.S. non-manufacturing sector grew for the 98th consecutive month
The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
"The NMI registered 58.8 percent, which is 0.7 percentage point lower than the February reading of 59.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly slower rate.
"The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 60.6 percent, 2.2 percentage points lower than the February reading of 62.8 percent, reflecting growth for the 104th consecutive month, at a slower rate in March.
"The New Orders Index registered 59.5 percent, 5.3 percentage points lower than the reading of 64.8 percent in February. The Employment Index increased 1.6 percentage points in March to 56.6 percent from the February reading of 55 percent.
"The Prices Index increased by 0.5 percentage point from the February reading of 61 percent to 61.5 percent, indicating that prices increased in March for the 25th consecutive month.
"According to the NMI, 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. Despite the slight dip in the NMI composite index, the non-manufacturing sector enjoyed another month of strong growth in March.
"The coolingoff of the New Orders Index possibly prevented an even stronger reading for the NMI composite index. The majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions." ■