The services sector in the US unexpectedly improved in April, sporting a slight gain in growth, according to the Institute of Supply Management's non-manufacturing index. The NMI came in at 52.0%, up from 49.6% in March. Economists had forecast a number at or around 49.4%. Readings above 50% indicate growth, and anything below, contraction. The index has been below 50% for three straight months.
The index rose on longer delivery times and a pickup in employment. Despite the expansion, new orders and business activity actually dropped slightly. New orders stood at 50.1%, down from 50.2% in March. the Business Activity Index fell to 50.9%, from 52.2%.
Twelve of the 18 industries included in the survey were expanding in April, led by entertainment and real estate.
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