U.S. service sector growth quickens in October: ISM

NEW YORK Tue Nov 5, 2013 10:04am EST

Workers spread asphalt on a street in the Cow Hollow neighborhood in San Francisco, California June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Workers spread asphalt on a street in the Cow Hollow neighborhood in San Francisco, California June 2, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers despite a partial government shutdown, but new order growth slowed for a second straight month, an industry report on Tuesday showed.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose a point to 55.4 last month. Economists had expected it to slip to 54.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion

While last month's reading was below the near eight-year high of 58.6 reached in August, it was notable for having climbed despite a political standoff in Washington that forced a partial government shutdown for the first 16 days of October.

The employment index rose to 56.2, bringing it closer to the six-month peak hit in August. It slipped to 52.7 in September.

But the forward-looking new orders component fell for a second month running, checking in at 56.8 in October from 59.6 the prior month.

The data comes days after the ISM's national factory index showed U.S. manufacturing grew at its fastest pace last month in 2-1/2 years.

Overall, however, recent U.S. economic data has been mixed, and growth is expected to have slowed to a 1.9 percent rate in the third quarter from 2.5 percent between April and June.

The Federal Reserve has said the timing of a decision to begin scaling back support for the U.S. economy will depend on the way the economy evolves.

(Reporting by Steven C. Johnson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
Gotta love our “Fries with that” economy as well as our call center/tech support economy – oh wait India now has it.

Nov 05, 2013 10:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
dareconomics wrote:
The economic data continues to tell a tale of stagnation. The MFP is breathlessly reporting that the services PMI beat the consensus forecast despite the “shutdown.” Numbers above 50 signal expansion, but a 55.4 is nothing to write home about. Expected GDP growth at this level is below 2%, which is far below the 3.5% growth required to stir the labor market.

Full post with charts, images and links:


Nov 05, 2013 2:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.