UPDATE: The ISM Services release is out.
The index rose to 56.1, handily beating expectations of a drop to 54.1.
The gains were led by a big boost in the employment sub-component of the index. That figure rose to 56.3 from November’s 50.3 reading.
The imports sub-component of the index fell sharply to 49.0 from 55.5.
The backlog of orders sub-component also crossed into contraction territory, falling to 49.5 from November’s 53.5 reading.
Below is a full breakdown of the changes across the sub-indices, taken from the release:
Below are quotes from various respondents to the ISM survey across services industries, also provided in the release:
- “Although our business activity level is the same as a month ago, it is still higher than normal with plans to continue at that rate for the foreseeable future.” (Educational Services)
- “Business conditions are picking up despite the current economic state and the federal budget issues.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
- “Consumer optimism increased; lower gasoline prices lead to higher retail sales.” (Public Administration)
- “The holidays will slow construction some, but overall business remains about 25 per cent ahead of last year. Weather has been favourable.” (Wholesale Trade)
- “Due to the extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are seeing our customers shopping later this year.” (Retail Trade)
- “Business has picked up significantly during this last quarter of the year.” (Transportation & Warehousing)
- “Preparing for substantial business due to heavier than normal crop forecast.” (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting)
EARLIER: Minutes away from the release of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite index reading for the month of December, due out at 10 AM ET.
Economists expect the index to fall to 54.1 from November’s 54.7 reading.
Any number over 50 signals expansion, so a drop to 54.1 would indicate a slowing rate of expansion in services industries in the United States.
We will have the release LIVE at 10 AM ET. Click here for updates >