U.S. Services Sector Growth Eases in February -- ISM
By Xavier Fontdegloria
U.S. services activity growth eased in February but remained at
robust levels amid an improvement of the public health situation
and weather-related disruptions in the central part of the
The ISM Services Report on Business PMI decreased to 55.3 in
February from 58.7 in January, data from a survey compiled by the
Institute for Supply Management showed Wednesday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the
reading to hold at 58.7, unchanged from the previous month. The
reading is above the 50 point break-even point that separates
expansion over contraction, posting the ninth straight month of
growth but at a slower pace than that of January.
"There was a pullback in the rate of growth in the services
sector in February," said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM Services
Business Survey Committee.
Respondents are mostly optimistic about business recovery and
the economy, but production-capacity constraints, material
shortages and challenges in logistics and human resources are
affecting the supply chain, he said.
The ISM services business activity index edged down to 55.5 from
59.9 in January, while the new orders index fell significantly to
51.9 from 61.8 the prior month.
The employment index fell to 52.7 from 55.2 in January, the
The supplier deliveries index inched up three points to 60.8,
and the prices index surged 7.6 points to 71.8.
"Suppliers are taking the opportunity with the commodity-price
increases in the last few months to propose price increases that
are above and beyond normal expectations, causing significant
concern," one of the respondents from the accommodation and food
services sector said.
The ISM services PMI also signaled that the U.S. overall
economic activity continued to grow in February, as a reading above
48.5 over time generally indicates an expansion of the overall
economy. This is the ninth straight month in which the PMI
indicates such expansion.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 03, 2021 10:30 ET (15:30 GMT)
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