US ISM non-manufacturing: Business survey shows economy slowing

Chris Papadopoullos
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Service Sector Index, Including Restaurant Industry, Posts Large Declines
The non-manufacturing sectors have cooled down after a strong October (Source: Getty)

The US economy excluding manufacturing lost some momentum in November, according to a survey of firms released today.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) purchasing managers' index dropped to a score of 55.9 for last month from 59.1 in October. It is the lowest score since May.

Scores above 50 indicate an improvement in business conditions compared with the previous month, with higher scores implying faster growth.

The sub-score for business activity dropped to 58.2 from 63, while the new orders index scored a 57.5 from 62. The employment index dropped to 55 from 59.2. However, the prices index rose to 50.3, suggesting prices were beginning to rise after two successive months of decline.

The figures show that the service sector – which makes up the majority of US economic growth – is growing despite the rate of growth declining. It compares with the manufacturing sector which has been struggling this year and contracted last month, according to an ISM survey.

Economist Ian Shepherdson from Pantheon Macroeconomics said the fall in the PMI is likely to be temporary "given the strength of the labor market and consumers' cashflows".

The non-manufacturing sectors include retail, real estate, health care, transport, construction and a range of other professional services.

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