Like the manufacturing sector, the non-manufacturing sector of the U.S. continued to grow in May but at a slower rate than in April.
The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) business activity index for non-manufacturing was 58.5% in May, 3.2 percentage points lower than April's 61.7%. A figure above 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector generally is growing; a figure below 50% signals that it is contracting.
Despite the overall slower rate of growth among banks, financial institutions, construction firms, utilities, mining companies and other non-manufacturers, new orders, order backlogs, and employment grew faster in May than in April, according to Tempe, Ariz.-based ISM. ". . . The faster rates of increase for new orders and backlog of orders in May indicate that business activity in non-manufacturing industries should continue at relatively healthy levels in the near-term future," says Ralph G. Kauffman, chair of ISM's non-manufacturing business survey committee and coordinator of the supply chain management program at the University of Houston-Downtown.