Non-Manufacturing Sector Grows Faster

Like manufacturing, the non-manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy grew faster in April than in March. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) business activity index for non-manufacturing rose to 63% last month, a 2.5 percentage point gain from March's 60.5%.

New orders in non-manufacturing posted an index figure of 64.6 in April, up just over five percentage points from March. Employment also rose in April, with that index moving up 1.9 percentage points to 56.5.

"Price increases have again become a significant area of concern for many [ISM] members as a result of recent fuel price increases," notes 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.

Among other economic segments, non-manufacturing includes utilities, mining, construction, finance and banking, business services, and transportation.

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