The results of the Institute for Supply Management’s October non-manufacturing survey are out.
The headline gauge rose to 55.4 from September’s 54.4 reading, defying expectations for a drop to 54.0.
The number suggests an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in the American services sector in October.
The employment sub-index rose to 56.2 from September’s 52.7 reading, suggesting an acceleration in the pace of hiring as well.
A complete breakdown of the report’s sub-indices is shown at right.
Below, from the release, is what respondents to the survey were saying in October:
- “Sales continue to increase slightly over the same period last year.” (Public Administration)
- “We experienced an increase in the level of interest in our services, job awards and professional services placements.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
- “Signs of improvement and stability are encouraging; however, the political environment and the cost of ObamaCare are causing a retrenching as costs escalate and margins shrink.” (Retail Trade)
- “Economy continues to be a challenge with consumer fear as a result of the government partial shutdown.” (Accommodation & Food Services)
- “Economic conditions continue to improve slowly in spite of government policy. Housing continues to lead.” (Management of Companies & Support Services)
- “Business activities are stable compared to previous month.” (Finance & Insurance)