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Financial News: U.S. Service Sector Growth Accelerates More Than Expected

U.S. Service Sector Growth Accelerates More Than Expected In May

06/05/2018 - 10:12:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Activity in the U.S. service sector grew at a faster than expected rate in the month of May, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index climbed to 58.6 in May from 56.8 in April, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. Economists had expected the index to rise to 57.5.

"The majority of respondents are optimistic about business conditions and the overall economy," said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

He added, "There continue to be concerns about the uncertainty surrounding tariffs, trade agreements and the impact on cost of goods sold."

The bigger than expected increase by the non-manufacturing index was partly due to a notable increase by the business activity index, which jumped to 61.3 in May from 59.1 in April.

The new orders index also edged up to 60.5 in May from 60.0 in April, while the employment index crept up to 54.1 from 53.6.

The report said the prices index also climbed to 64.3 in May from 61.8 in April, indicating that prices increased for the 27th consecutive month.

Last Friday, the ISM released a separate report showing growth in manufacturing activity accelerated by more than expected in the month of May.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 58.7 in May from 57.3 in April. Economists had expected the index to rise to 58.1.

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