Economic activity in the services sector expanded in March for the third consecutive month as the Services PMI registered 51.2 percent, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Services ISM Report On Business. The sector has grown in 33 of the last 34 months, with the lone contraction in December.
The survey counts 50 as the dividing line between expansion and contraction. Anything above 50 is expansion, anything below signals contraction.
While the Services PMI did expand, the expansion was weaker than in February, with the ISM survey at 52.2%, down 3.9 percentage points.
Deliveries registered 45.8%, down from 47.6% in February. That's the fastest supplier delivery performance since April 2009, when it registered 45.5%. Speedier deliveries is not necessarily good news, since a reading above 50% would slower deliveries, which is typical as the economy improves and customer demand increases.)