More good news for the American economy: the non-manufacturing activity index of the US Institute for Supply Management jumped from 55.3 in April to 60.1 in May, its highest level in 21 months.

The index measures conditions in the service sector, which accounts for around 84% of US economic output. Readings above 50.0 represent expansion.

In addition, back orders increased for the first time in seventeen months. “That shows we should have continued growth in activity in the next few months,” declared Ralph Kauffman, chairman of ISM’s non-manufacturing business survey committee.

The report also noted a slight rise in new orders, a stronger surge in exports and a slowdown in the rate of price increases, the latter attributed to companies’ caution concerning the strength of the economy.

Data sourced from multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff