US services sector continues fast growth in August despite supply shortages
Services sector activity in the US continued expanding at a brisk pace in August, the results of a closely-followed survey revealed.
The Institute for Supply Management's services sector Purchasing Managers' Index dipped from a reading of 64.1 for July to 61.9 in August.
Economists had penciled-in a move down to 62.0.
Perhaps the key sub-index, that linked to new orders, only drifted down by 0.5 points from the month before to reach 63.2.
Similarly, a sub-index tracking employment was barely changed at 53.7.
Significantly, the gauge for prices paid by firms retreated, even if from 82.3 to a still blistering pace of 75.4.
The survey's chair, Anthony Nieves, pointed out the decline in supplier deliveries sub-index, which being inverted denotes a small easing in supply bottlenecks.
A sub-index for new export orders meanwhile fell 5.2 points to a still high 60.6, while that for business activity retreated from 67.0 to 60.1.
Worth noting, survey respondents from nearly all sectors called attention to staffing or supply shortages and their impact on business.
A case in point, a purchasing manager from the wholesale trade sector told ISM: "steel shortages continue.
"Labor constraints at suppliers continue to push delivery dates out. Logistics issues (are also ongoing), as container space, truck drivers and the like remain difficult to obtain."