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Financial News: U.S. Services Index Indicates Modestly Slower Growth In

U.S. Services Index Indicates Modestly Slower Growth In February

03/05/2024 - 11:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday showed U.S. service sector growth slowed by slightly more than expected in the month of February.

The ISM said its services PMI fell to 52.6 in February after climbing to 53.4 in January. While a reading above 50 still indicates growth, economists had expected the index to show a more modest decrease to 53.0.

The bigger than expected dip by the headline index partly reflected a downturn by employment, with the employment index dropping to 48.0 in February from 50.5 in January.

The supplier deliveries index also slumped to 48.9 in February from 52.4 in January, indicating that supplier delivery performance was faster after one month in slower territory.

"The slight decrease in the rate of growth in February is a result of faster supplier deliveries and the contraction in the Employment Index," said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.

"The majority of respondents are mostly positive about business conditions," he added. "Respondents remain concerned about inflation, employment and ongoing geopolitical conflicts."

Meanwhile, the report said the business activity index climbed to 57.2 in February from 55.8 in January, while the new orders index rose to 56.1 from 55.0.

The ISM also said the prices index slid to 58.6 in February from 64.0 in January, indicating a slowdown in the pace of price growth.

Last Friday, the ISM released a separate report showing manufacturing activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted at an accelerated rate in the month of February.

The ISM said its manufacturing PMI dipped to 47.8 in February from 49.1 in January, with a reading below 50 indicating contraction. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 49.5.

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