Investing.com - Service sector activity in the U.S. unexpectedly strengthened in February, registering an 85th consecutive month of growth and bolstering optimism over the U.S. economy, industry data showed on Friday.
In a report, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) unexpectedly rose to 57.6 in February from the prior month’s reading of 56.5.
Analysts had expected no change from January’s reading.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding, below 50.0 indicates the sector is contracting.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 63.6, 3.3 points higher than January’s reading of 60.3. Analysts had forecast it to drop to 60.0.
The New Orders Index registered 61.2 in February, 2.6 points higher than the reading of 58.6 in the previous month.
The Employment Index increased 0.5 points to 55.2 last month from January’s reading of 54.7.
The Prices Index decreased 1.3 points to 57.7 in February from the prior month’s reading of 59.0.
“The non-manufacturing sector reflected strong growth in February after cooling off in January,” the report indicated, adding that all 16 service industries reported growth.
“Respondents’ comments continue to be mixed, with some uncertainty; however, the majority indicate a positive outlook on business conditions and the overall economy," the ISM concluded.
Immediately following the report, EUR/USD traded at 1.0558 compared to 1.0560 ahead of the release, GBP/USD was at 1.2237 from 1. 2234 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 114.47 from 114.44 prior to the publication.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, traded at 101.89 compared to 101.86 prior to the release.
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