The Institute of Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing businesses showed unexpected growth this morning, edging up to 52 from 49.6 last month and soundly beating consensus of 49.1. Along with last week’s job figures and manufacturing growth, the news adds weight to the argument that the worst may indeed be behind us. Bloomberg:
…The improvement in most industries last month makes it more likely the economy will be able to weather the worst real estate slump in a quarter century.
“It is the resilience of the service sector that has kept overall economic growth in positive territory,” Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital in New York, said before the report. “The economy continues to grow at a sluggish pace.” Maki forecast the measure would rise to 50.5.