The ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Index fell slightly to 55.3 in December, 0.6 points below November’s reading. Despite the drop, December marked the 77th consecutive month of growth, as indicated by readings over 50. Eleven non-manufacturing industries reported growth in December, while 5 reported contractions.
The Business Activity Index increased 0.5 points to 58.7. Most respondents reported increased business activity and some reported new sales from overseas.
Non-manufacturing employment grew at a faster rate in December, as the Employment Index increased 0.7 points to 55.7. Nine industries reported an increase in employment, including management of companies and support services, retail trade, mining and healthcare and social assistance. Four industries, arts entertainment and recreation, other services, utilities and wholesale trade, reported contraction.
The New Orders Index registered 58.2, up 0.7 points from November. Respondents reported business expansion, as well as new projects coming on line.
Supplier deliveries picked up speed in December, as the index fell 4.5 points to 48.5 (reading above 50 for this index indicate slower deliveries). Six industries reported slower deliveries, while seven including information, mining and transportation and warehousing, reported faster deliveries.
Read the ISM release.