US services sector continues solid growth: survey
Thursday, December 06, 2018       22:59 WIB

Washington, Dec 6, 2018 (AFP)
The dominant US services sector continued to grow at a strong pace in November, feeling less impact from the uncertainty surrounding trade conflict than manufacturers, according to a survey released Thursday.
While firms still face hurdles to finding skilled workers, and are starting to see wage increases, the continued expansion surprised analysts who were expecting a slowdown.
The monthly non-manufacturing index rose to 60.7 percent from 60.3 percent, continuing the uninterrupted expansion that has lasted nearly nine years. Any reading above 50 percent indicates growth.
Anthony Nieves, chair of ISM's survey committee for the non-manufacturing sector, acknowledged that growth cannot continue at "full throttle" indefinitely. But he said companies were confident they could continue the momentum into next year.
They "might not see softening until 2020," he told reporters, but added that "doesn't mean we'll say same rapid pace of growth."
Firms continue to tell ISM that uncertainty over President Donald Trump's tariffs and trade disputes have prompted them to take a "wait and see" approach, including holding off on some investments until next year.
One firm said it was "preparing for the later phases of tariffs by slowing down growth and capital investment until the future becomes clearer."
Trump reached a truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the weekend, raising hopes of a resolution, but the details remain unclear.
The ISM survey showed 17 of the 18 industries showed growth, with agriculture the only sector reporting a slowdown. But the index remains well above its 12-month average.
Nearly all the key components rose in the month, but employment was a notable exception, falling 1.3 points to 58.4 percent, reflecting the difficulty finding workers, especially in trucking and construction.
Nieves said recruiters were now turning to employed workers to fill open positions, which just created new openings and was starting to drive wage increases.

Sumber : AFP