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The ISM non-manufacturing index rose in January to 55.5, surpassing expectations. Through the monthly volatility, the headline index remains consistent with moderate expansion in economic growth, explained analysts at Wells Fargo. 

Key Quotes: 

“Shrugging off the ongoing softness in the manufacturing sector, the ISM non-manufacturing index increased to a five-month high as respondents remained generally positive about business conditions and the overall economy. The breadth of improvement was broad-based with 12 of 18 industries reporting growth on the month.”

“The improving ISM performance is consistent with other measures of non-manufacturing activity.”

“The business activity index has shown marked improvement since hitting its ten-year low in November 2019. The forward-looking new orders index also firmed, suggesting momentum remains positive as firms begin to evaluate any potential business impact from the coronavirus.”