U.S. economy perks up early in the new year, ISM finds

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The numbers: A barometer of business conditions at service-oriented companies rose in January to a four-month high in a burst of fresh optimism about the U.S. economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s survey climbed to 53.5% from 50.5% in the prior month. The index had fallen in December to a seven-month low.

Economists by polled by the Wall Street Journal had predicted an ISM reading of 52.0%

Numbers over 50% are viewed as positive for the economy. The index ranged between 50% and 55% throughout 2023.

“The majority of respondents indicate that business is steady. They are optimistic about the economy due to the potential impact of interest rate cuts,” said Anthony Nieves, chairman of the survey.

In early Monday trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500
both declined.

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