Business Activity Eases as Shutdown Plods On
Non-manufacturing business conditions in the United States continued to improve in September, according to the latest ISM Report on Business, albeit at a slower rate than before. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its index for the non-manufacturing sector declined 4.2 percentage points on the month to 54.4, the 45th consecutive month of growth.
While the report is positive, it missed economist expectations. Economists were looking for a reading of 57, but soft readings from components like New Orders and Employments weighed on the index. The overall business activity/production index fell 7.1 percentage points to 55.5, a dramatic decline that was only partially offset by an increase in new export orders.
The news landed at the feet of a sour market on Thursday, with major indexes off more than a full percentage point in early afternoon trading as the U.S. plods through the third day of a partial government shutdown.