- Low Orders Plunge U.S. Services Sector to 4 month low
U.S. services sector expanded at the weakest pace in four months in December, the Institute for Supply Management reported Friday.
The services index declined from 57.4 to 55.9 in December, falling below 57.6 predicted by most economists. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Also, the gauge of new orders fell from 58.7 to 54.3, making it the lowest number since August 2016. However, employment index showed job creation climbed to 56.3 from 55.3, suggesting that the sector is still creating jobs.
The surprise decline is in contrast to the manufacturing data released on Wednesday that showed the sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in the same month and factory managers are optimistic about growing new orders.
Despite the decline, the 2017 services index stood at 57, the second highest since 2005. Experts attributed the decline to over 20,000 jobs that were lost in the retail sector in December.
Meanwhile, non-farm payrolls added fewer jobs than expected in the same month, adding 148,000 jobs to the economy in December.
The U.S. dollar gained slightly against the Yen to 113.24.