Channel NewsAsia

US services sector growth hits 7-month high

The massive US services sector picked up pace for the second month in a row in April, data showed on Monday in another sign of the economy's post-winter rebound.

WASHINGTON: The massive US services sector picked up pace for the second month in a row in April, data showed on Monday in another sign of the economy's post-winter rebound.

The Institute for Supply Management said its purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 55.2 in April from 53.1 in March.

It was the highest reading since last July and came in better than the 54.0 figure expected by analysts.

A number above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, which accounts for the bulk of US economic activity.

Business activity and new orders accelerated, while employment slowed.

Fourteen of the 18 industries surveyed reported growth in April, while four reported contraction.

"The majority of survey respondents' comments indicate that both business conditions and the economy are improving," said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM's non-manufacturing survey committee.

On Friday, the ISM manufacturing sector PMI rose for the 11th straight month in April, to a better-than-expected 54.9, with growth picking up steam for the third month in a row.

Recent monthly data has indicated the US economy has rebounded from a first-quarter stall blamed in part on unusually severe winter weather.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna