The ISM’s non-manufacturing index rose in February to 57.3 from the 56.8 reported in January. This is the third consecutive month that growth in the non-manufacturing sector has accelerated. The index is now well above its fourth quarter average of 52.5.
The details of the report were mixed, with the business activity index and new orders both breaking 60. The business activity index rose to 62.6 in February. New orders rose to 61.2, the first time it has been above 60 since March 2011.
Both employment and supplier delivery indices fell in February. Employment fell to a still expansionary 55.7. Supplier deliveries contracted in February, with the index falling to 49.5, the first contraction since September 2011.
The trade details were negative in February as well, with the export index falling 2 points to 54.5. Much of this is likely due to decreased demand from Europe.
Read the report.