‘Respondents’ comments continue to be mixed, with some uncertainty; however, the majority indicate a positive outlook on business conditions and the overall economy .’ – Anthony Nieves, ISM
Economic activity in the US services sector rose unexpectedly last month, official figures showed on Friday. The Institute for Supply Management reported its Purchasing Managers’ Index for the services sector climbed to 57.6 in February, while market analysts expected the Index remain unchanged from the prior month’s reading of 56.5 during the reported period. Any reading above the 50-point level indicates activity expansion in the services sector. Furthermore, the Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index came in at 63.6, the highest level since February 2011, up from the previous month’s 60.3. Data also showed the New Orders Index increased to 61.2, the highest since August 2015, following January’s 58.6. The ISM said 16 out of 18 industries reported growth last month, adding that the share of companies expressing a positive outlook for the future rose markedly last month despite the existing uncertainty in the US economy. Economic activity contracted in the information industry and the real estate, rental and leasing industry in February.
After the release, the US Dollar hit its intraday high of 114.54 against the Japanese Yen but failed to maintain its gains as investors awaited a speech by the Fed Chair Janet Yellen in the day.