US service sector defies analysts as growth ramps up

One measure of US service sector growth - the ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) - just showed an increase in October.

Analysts had forecast a fall from 54.4 to 54.0, but instead the headline PMI number rose to 55.4.

Any number above 50 implies an expansion in non-manufacturing activity, so this higher number suggests that the growth in activity is accelerating.

Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics, says that this supports other evidence that the wider US economy "shrugged off the government shutdown".

The important subcomponents showed growth as well, with new orders at 56.8, business activity at 59.7 and employment at 56.2.