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Ekonomické zprávy

U.S. services sector activity growth unexpectedly slows slightly in March - ISM

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported on Wednesday that its Services PMI came in at 51.4 per cent in March, recording a fall of 1.2 percentage points from an unrevised February reading of 52.6 per cent. The latest figure indicated that the U.S. services sector expanded for the 15th successive month, albeit at a weaker pace than in the previous two months.

Economists had forecast the indicator to rise to 52.7 in March.

A reading above 50 signals expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Of the 18 services industries, 12 reported growth last with respondents indicating continuing improvement in logistics and the supply chain and remaining employment challenges in a combination of difficulties in backfilling positions and/or controlling labour expenses. 

According to the report, the Production index edged up 0.2 percentage point to 57.4 per cent in March, indicating growth in output for the 46th month in a row. In addition, the Employment measure increased by 0.5 percentage points to 48.5 per cent, indicating employment activity in the services sector contracted in March for the second straight month. Meanwhile, the New Orders gauge declined by 1.7 percentage points to 54.4 per cent, indicating expansion for the 15th consecutive month. The Inventories indicator dropped by 1.5 percentage points to 45.6 per cent, indicating a shrinkage of inventories for the fourth successive month, and at a faster rate in February. The Supplier Deliveries indicator plunged by 3.5 percentage points to 45.4 per cent, indicating faster performance for the second consecutive month. The Backlog of Orders index tumbled 5.5 percentage points to 44.8 per cent, indicating a decrease in order backlogs in March following two consecutive months of expansion.

On the price front, the Prices index declined by 5.2 percentage points to 53.4 per cent, indicating that prices paid by services organizations for materials and services increased in March for the 82nd month running.

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