World Economy Indicators

07 August 2003

• America’s service sector enjoyed bumper growth in July, fuelling hopes of an economic recovery.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing business index jumped from 60.6 in June to hit 65.1 – the highest reading since the survey began six years ago. July was the fourth consecutive month the index stood above the 50.0 threshold between expansion and contraction.

Accounting for over two-thirds of the US economy, the service sector was boosted by a surge in new orders (the index for which jumped from 57.5 to 66.9), order backlogs and imports. Even the gauge of employment improved, creeping up from 50.3 to 50.7 – the first time it has stayed over 50.0 for two straight months since the start of 2001.

• Equivalent statistics in the UK were nowhere near as spectacular, but encouraging nonetheless.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s service-sector index rose from 54.5 to 56.6, the highest since May last year.

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics reported that industrial production rose 0.7% in June, including a better-than-expected 0.2% rise in the beleaguered manufacturing sector. As a result, manufacturing output is thought to have stayed flat in the second quarter.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff