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ISM Service-Sector Index Eases in May

Wall Street Journal (06/03/15) Kathleen Madigan

The Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index hit a 12-month low of 55.7 in May, down from 57.8 in April, likely due to weakness in the mining sector. Mining accounts for 2.79% of its survey, and it was the only sector to report a contraction and declines in production, new orders, and employment last month. Forecasters polled by the Wall Street Journal had anticipated that May’s PMI would be little changed at 57.1. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

ISM’s employment index dropped slightly from 56.7 in April to 55.3 in May, with respondents reporting a shortage of service workers for the fourth straight month. Meanwhile, data provider Markit’s service-sector component fell from 57.4 in April to 56.2 in May, but its employment index shows that hiring occurred at the strongest pace since July 2014.