The ISM index was 64%, up 1.3 points from April, well above the 63% expected by analysts.
According to the ISM Trade Association Index released on Thursday, service activity in the United States was higher than expected in May, reaching an all-time high, a sign that the epidemic-hit sector is recovering.
The index, which measures business activity, was up 64%, up 1.3 points from April, well above analysts’ expectations of 63%.
Growth was strong because “companies have reopened and production capacity has increased,” ISM chief Anthony Niews was quoted as saying in a statement.
More than half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, allowing restaurants, concerts, hotels, and theme parks to find their customers.
The employment situation continues to improve, but at a slower pace than the previous month. Despite the 15 million unemployed in the country, employers are finding it difficult to recruit, especially as they struggle to find candidates for low-paying jobs.
“Delays continue to be linked to some capacity barriers, material shortages, weather and logistics and manpower issues,” warns Anthony News.
As a result, prices continue to rise, at a higher rate than in April. The index that measures them is 80.6% (+3.8 points), close to the 83.5% record set in September 2005.
US Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve) officials insist that inflation should last for several months before returning to normal, but fears continue to linger in markets, fearing that runaway inflation could hurt growth.