March turned out to be another good month for the non-manufacturing sector of the economy as it grew for the 87th consecutive month.
According to the Non-Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business, the Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) came in at 55.2%. While that's down 2.4% from the previous month, the NMI remained above 50 -- the dividing line between expansion and contraction.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index dropped 4.7% to 58.9%, the New Orders Index was off 2.3% to 58.9% and the Employment Index fell 3.6% to 51.6%.
The Prices Index was down 4.2% to 53.5%, showing that prices increase, although at a slower rate for the 12th consecutive month, at a slower rate in March.
Industry by industry
Fifteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth:
- Management of Companies & Support Services;
- Wholesale Trade;
- Real Estate, Rental & Leasing;
- Arts, Entertainment & Recreation;
- Accommodation & Food Services;
- Retail Trade;
- Health Care & Social Assistance;
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting;
- Transportation & Warehousing;
- Finance & Insurance;
- Other Services; and
- Public Administration.
The three industries reporting contraction in March were:
- Educational Services; and
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.