Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business indicating that service related business activity was improved in November with the business activity component climbing and the overall non-manufacturing index rising to 54.7 from 54.2 in October.
At 61.2 the business activity index rose a notable 10.47% since October climbing 9.09% above the level seen a year earlier.
This month, service industry respondents are sounding mixed reporting some "cautious" optimism as well as "lagging" conditions:
"Cautiously optimistic is the best way to describe customer sentiment. Revenue continues to remain well below last year, but seems to have finally reached a point of stability. Price pressures are beginning to ease and customer traffic is once again picking up." (Arts, Entertainment & Recreation)
"We have experienced an estimated 25 percent [increase] in new job orders, and in new hires for services." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)
"Some companies seemed slower to make hiring decisions and/or place new positions on hold due to uncertainty in the economy and political climate." (Management of Companies & Support Services)
"Worries about global slowdown persist; however, the housing market appears to have hit its lows and is beginning to climb. This is good news for governmental tax base projections." (Public Administration)
"Hurricane Sandy has impacted our business activity tremendously. This emergency should not be misconstrued as a positive increase in business as usual; we merely facilitated emergency equipment and supplies to be delivered to the affected areas and the emergency responders." (Wholesale Trade)
"Sales continue to lag, but there are signs of improvement." (Retail Trade)