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US nonmanufacturing activity accelerates in February, but employment metric decreased

March 05 2019

Economic activity in the US nonmanufacturing sector accelerated in February, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index, released today.

ISM’s nonmanufacturing index rose to a reading of 59.7 in February, up from a reading of 56.7 in January.

Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions. According to the index, all 18 non-manufacturing industries reported growth.

“The non-manufacturing sector's growth rate rebounded in February after cooling off in January,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing business survey committee. “Respondents are concerned about the uncertainty of tariffs, capacity constraints and employment resources; however, they remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy."

However, the employment portion of the index decreased in February to a reading of 55.2 from January’s reading of 57.8. Eleven industries reported increased employment, and four industries — accommodation and food services; information; retail trade; and public administration — reported decreased employment.

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