Survey shows growth easing in US yet hiring remains bullish

Tim Wallace
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BUSINESSES in the US increased the pace at which they are taking on more staff, according to an influential survey published yesterday.

The service sector’s output continued to grow in December, the Institute for Supply Management said, the 48th consecutive month of expansion for the industry.

However, the pace of that growth slowed down – the index came in at 53, down from 53.9 in the previous month and edging closer to the 50 mark which represents no change in output on the month.

The manufacturing sector also expanded for its seventh consecutive month, but again at a slower pace – its index score slipped 0.3 points to 57.

By contrast the employment index increased to 56.9, up from 56.5, representing another acceleration.

That puts hiring growth at its highest level in more than two years.

Meanwhile Markit’s purchasing manager’s index, another influential survey, showed growth in orders accelerating across the manufacturing and services sector.

Its index showed orders growth in December rise to its fastest level since April 2012.