Decline in Employment Causes Slight Slip in Non-Manufacturing Index

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in February for the 97th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing report on business.

“The NMI registered 59.5%, which is 0.4 percentage point lower than the January reading of 59.9%. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly slower rate,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The non-manufacturing business activity index increased to 62.8%, three percentage points higher than the January reading of 59.8%, reflecting growth for the 103rd consecutive month, at a faster rate in February.”

In addition, the new orders index registered reached 64.8% in February, marking a 2.1% increase from January. Meanwhile, the employment index fell 6.6% to 55% and the prices index slipped to 61% from January’s reading of 61.9%.

“The decrease in the employment index possibly prevented an even stronger reading for the NMI composite index,” Nieves said. “The majority of respondents’ continue to be positive about business conditions and the economy.”

According to the NMI, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth, including transportation and warehousing, rental and leasing, finance and insurance and construction.

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