New private and government data shows significant growth in both the services and manufacturing sectors this summer, demonstrating two areas of strength in the expanding U.S. economy. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its services index increased to 58.7 last month, well above forecasts of 56.3. The reading was the highest in more than eight years and a substantial jump from June’s 56.0 mark. Non-manufacturing business activity, according to ISM, rose to 62.4, its highest point since February of 2011. Meanwhile, ISM’s new orders index hit 64.9, up from 61.2 in June.
Separately, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods also rose above expectations, shooting up 1.1% in June. Economists, on average, were expecting a 0.6% increase. Government data showed demand for primary metals, electrical equipment, and appliances rose, along with orders for computers. Durable goods orders increased 1.7% in June, making gains from a 0.7% rise a month earlier. Excluding transportation, durable goods were up 1.9%, while orders for non-defense capital goods – minus aircraft – rose 3.3%. Inventories slowed slightly in June, increasing 0.3%, following a 0.8% rise in May. June shipments, though, were up 0.5%, after a 0.1% drop in May.