America’s service sector has bounced back from October’s all-time low, according to the National Association of Purchasing Management, continuing a week of upbeat news for the US economy [WAMN: 04-Dec-01].
The NAPM’s index of non-manufacturing business hit 51.3 in November – above the 50 threshold between expansion and contraction – following October’s 40.6, the lowest reading since the survey of 370 purchasing and supply managers in 62 industries was set up in July 1997.
However, Ralph Kauffman, chair of the NAPM’s Non-manufacturing Business Survey Committee, remained cautious, pointing out that a rebound was not surprising given that many companies deferred orders in October until the next month. By December, the bulk of such delayed consumption may have petered out, meaning a return to the sub-50 mark “wouldn’t be a surprise.”
News source: Wall Street Journal