ISM details what respondents are saying:
Growth in the U.S. service sector was flat in April, but activity remained at the highest rate in four years, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM non-manufacturing index stayed at 55.4% in April.
Readings over 50% indicate more firms believe business is getting better instead of worse. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were looking for the index to rise to 56%. In April, 14 of 18 industries were growing. Yet the new orders index fell to 58.2% in April from 62.3% in March. And the employment index dipped to 49.5% in April from 49.8% in March.
- "Best production/service levels in 24 months." (Wholesale Trade)
- "Selling prices for our products continue to decline." (Mining)
- "The market and other financial indicators point to an improving economy; however, that is being overshadowed by skepticism and lack of confidence. Capital spending is being constrained by concern over the economic view in a post-stimulus era, with double-digit interest rates and mounting debt." (Educational Services)
- "Market shows slight signs of tightening." (Information)
- "Business conditions are improving." (Management of Companies & Support Services)
- "There are signs of improvement which are leading us to be optimistic; however, as prices escalate the stability of the recovery is at risk." (Retail Trade)