Dec 5, 2019

The U.S. services sector is holding on

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Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

Economists and fund managers are concerned about the services sector, which makes up around 70% of U.S. employment.

Driving the news: ISM's non-manufacturing PMI report released Wednesday showed a weaker-than-expected reading that was 5.4 points below October, but continued to expand with a reading above 50.

  • It was the 124th consecutive month the index has shown growth.

Why it matters: Unlike the manufacturing sector, services data has disappointed but has yet to fall into contraction in the U.S. and much of the rest of the industrialized world.

Go deeper: Index tracking U.S. services sector activity falls to 3-year low

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Key manufacturing index contracts for the fourth straight month

The ISM's November manufacturing report released Monday contracted for the fourth straight month.

Why it matters: It's an unexpected decline as most industry watchers expected the reading to rise. Surveys have shown manufacturing output declining for more than a year.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 2, 2019

Two key U.S. manufacturing indexes have diverged sharply

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The ISM's November U.S. manufacturing index got all the headlines with a fourth straight reading showing the industry in contraction, but IHS Markit's index was also released Monday and told a very different story.

What's happening: Both surveys are well respected by investors and economists, but follow different methodologies. This seems to have created a widening divide in which IHS Markit's data is showing a solid recovery in U.S. manufacturing while ISM's is showing further deterioration.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

By the numbers: Trump's manufacturing slump

Data: BLS; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While sentiment indicators have been split, the jobs data and reports from businesses are painting a clear picture of the U.S. manufacturing industry's stress.

What they're saying: Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM survey committee, which tracks the sector through its purchasing managers index, said his report may be underestimating the damage. (His company's latest report showed manufacturing contracting for the fourth straight month.)

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019