U.S. Markets

U.S. services sector on track for growth in 2018: ISM's Nieves

FILE PHOTO: The Dayton Power & Light J.M. Stuart Station lights up the early morning sky on the banks of the Ohio River in Aberdeen, Ohio, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. services industries are expected to expand in 2018, though perhaps not at a pace as fast as the 12-year high set in October, Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing business survey committee, said on Friday.

“You are still seeing growth,” Nieves said on a conference call with reporters after ISM released its non-manufacturing activity data for December earlier. “It may not be as strong as October.”

Earlier Friday, the ISM gauge on the vast U.S. services sector unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in December to 55.9 from 57.4 in November. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a December reading of 57.6.

A reading above 50 suggests the services sector is expanding.

The ISM services index recorded a reading above 50 for 96 consecutive months, signaling the U.S. economy was growing at a 2.7 percent annualized pace.

Reporting by Richard LeongEditing by Chizu Nomiyama