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Non-manufacturing business index flat, but industry optimistic

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(Read caption) This chart shows the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index, with percent change and index value measured over the past six years. At 55.6 the business activity index increased 1.83% since April climbing 2.02% above the level seen a year earlier.

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Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business indicating that service related business activity went flat in May with the business activity component increasing while the overall non-manufacturing index improved just slightly to 53.7 from 53.5 in April.

At 55.6 the business activity index increased 1.83% since April climbing 2.02% above the level seen a year earlier.

This month, service industry respondents are sounding slightly mixed with more positive expectations than earlier in the year and still reasonably optimistic for economic activity in 2012:

"Q2 will be a strong quarter for us; the building market is starting to wake up." (Construction)

"Increased activity and resources related to projects." (Finance & Insurance)

"The upswing in consumer confidence has led to increased business." (Arts, Entertainment & Recreation)

"While we tend to remain optimistic about the economy, our numbers do not show a surge in activity. It appears consumers are maintaining their 'let's wait and see' attitude." (Accommodation & Food Services)

"Business outlook is flat for the remainder of 2012 with emphasis on cost containment, restructuring and cost-savings projects." (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)

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"Business is still strong, but we have seen some softening in growth since mid-March." (Wholesale Trade)


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