ISM survey: U.S. services surge to record high in March

The U.S. services sector, which employs most Americans, recorded record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices all surged

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Monday that its nonmanufacturing index rose to an all-time high 63.7 last month from 55.3 in February. The old record of 60.9 was set in October 2018.

New orders also hit a record, and hiring and prices grew faster.

“All the right pieces for a faster services recovery – expanded vaccine eligibility, reopenings, and historic fiscal expansion – are falling into place,” economists Oren Klachkin and Gregory Daco of Oxford Econmics wrote in a research note.

Although debate on economic policy often focuses on manufacturing, services — such as banks, retailers and restaurants — account for 71% of all U.S. jobs and 83% of private jobs.

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