ISM SERVICES SURGES PAST EXPECTATIONS TO 55.1

fast food workers

Photo: judybaxter via Flickr

UPDATE: ISM Services came in at 55.1 for the month of September, an unexpected rise from 53.7 last month.Click here for live updates >

Economists were expecting a slight drop to 53.4.

The Business Activity/Production sub-index led the gains, rising 4.3 points this month to 59.9.

Inventories slowed the most, dropping 4 points to 48.5.

The employment sub-index also dropped 2.7 points to 51.1 in September.

Any reading over 50 indicates expansion while a sub-50 reading indicates contraction.

Here is a table with the full breakdown by sub-index:

Photo: ISM

And here is what respondents to the ISM survey are saying:

  • “Business remains steady — optimistic for good fourth quarter.” (Information)
  • “Drought is putting pressure on food cost; tourism slowdown over the summer.” (Arts, Entertainment & Recreation)
  • “Things feel like the economy is moving. More new small business; unemployment declining; stock market up.” (Health Care & Social Assistance)
  • “Economic outlook is improving, but company is putting a major effort into more cost reductions and reorganization, resulting in more collaboration between procurement and our internal customers.” (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
  • “The general slowdown which began in March showed some reversal in August.” (Wholesale Trade)

Click here for the full report >

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ORIGINAL: Minutes away from the final datapoint of the day at 10:00 AM ET: ISM Services.

Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the services index will fall slightly to 53.4 from last month’s reading of 53.7.

A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

We will have the release LIVE on Money Game at 10:00 AM ET >

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