ISM services gauge dips slightly in November
Activity in America's services sector slowed slightly in November as businesses try to cope with the recent surge in Covid-19 infections, the results of a closely-followed survey revealed.
The Institute for Supply Management's services sector Purchasing Managers' Index fell from October's level of 56.6 points to 55.9.
Economists had penciled-in a reading of 56.0.
Anthony M Nieves, the chair of ISM's services survey committee, highlighted the rise in survey's gauge of price pressures, which rose by 2.2 points to 66.1, while describing respondents' comments about business conditions and the economy as "mixed".
"Respondents' comments are mixed about business conditions and the economy. Restaurants continue to struggle with capacity constraints and logistics," Nieves said.
"Most companies are cautious as they navigate operations amid the pandemic and the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election."
The key sub-index for firms' new orders dipped from 58.8 to 57.2 as that for employment rose from 50.1 to 51.1.
Inventories also began to decline again, as indicated by the drop in the corresponding sub-index below the 50-point threshold that denotes a contraction, from 53.1 to 49.3.