Service sector growth accelerates in April: ISM survey

NEW YORK Mon May 5, 2014 11:58am EDT

A waitress stands behind the counter at AS220 Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island November 17, 2009 FILE PHOTO. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A waitress stands behind the counter at AS220 Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island November 17, 2009 FILE PHOTO.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated in April, rising at the fastest pace in eight months as new orders jumped and overall activity quickened by the most since early 2008, an industry report showed on Monday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services sector index rose to 55.2 in April from 53.1 in March, topping expectations for a read of 54.1. The data provides further evidence that economic activity is regaining momentum after lagging through much of the winter, a lull largely blamed on harsh weather.

The April read marked the 52nd straight month the index was above 50, the level that separates expansion from contraction, and was the latest sign the impact of the harsh winter was ebbing.

Moreover, the April pace was the highest since August's reading of 57.9, which had been a seven-year high.

The gauge of business activity surged to 60.9 from 53.4 in March and was well above analysts' forecasts of 54.4. The 7.5-point jump was that measure's largest monthly increase since February 2008 when it rose 10.3 points.

The new orders index rose to 58.2, up 4.8 points from 53.4 the month before. That marked the largest monthly increase since March 2010, when it jumped 7.5 points.

Both the new orders and business activity indexes were their highest overall since August.

The employment index dipped to 51.3 from 53.6 in March, although that conflicts with a strong reading on private-sector services employment reported by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday. The government data showed service-sector hiring expanded last month by the most in 11 months, with 220,000 private-sector services jobs added.

(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (4)
gcf1965 wrote:
Service sector, waitress….some of the great jobs in last weeks jobs report. Sad that people cannot see that the jobs situation is probably worse now than it has been in years with so many now being “employed” but in jobs that can in no way support a family or lifestyle they have worked at for years or even decades. All because the pretender in the WH has no idea how or desire to create real jobs for Americans.

May 05, 2014 10:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
I see we have positive economic news and then of course the normal response to this good news is more from the right showing how much they really do hate their country. The hate the man in the White House so much they would rather see their country fail then this man succeed.

BTW if you want to see high paying middle class jobs start returning to the USA, you may need to understand the root cause for all those jobs leaving first, and here is a hint, it is not Obama, these jobs where long gone before he took office.

May 05, 2014 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Service sector goes up every spring for the summer business; that’s unexpected?

May 05, 2014 4:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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