Capitol Report: Another key barometer of U.S. economy hits postrecession high: ISM service index soars

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Americans are confident and that’s making businesses confident, too.

The numbers: Business conditions improved in September and companies were upbeat about the future, according to a survey of senior executives at service-oriented companies in fields such as finance, health care and retail.

The Institute for Supply Management’s survey of non-manufacturing firms climbed to a postrecession high of 61.6 in September from 58.5. It’s also one of the highest levels ever in an index whose roots stretch back to the late 1990s.

Numbers over 50% are viewed as positive for the economy, and anything over 55% is considered exceptional.

The blowout number was quickly trumpheted by President Trump, who tweetly shortly after the report was released.

What happened: All 17 industries tracked by the ISM reported growth in September. Many companies saw an increase in new orders and they hired more workers. A gauge measuring employment rose to a record 62.4.

Executives acknowledged that they are having trouble finding enough skilled workers in light of the nation’s low unemployment rate. They also said U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and other foreign products were still a worry.

Big picture: The economy is going strong and heading into the final months of 2018 on a roll. The latest ISM survey shows little liklihood that growth will slow anytime soon.

Read: California’s ‘golden’ economy could be tarnished by Trump tariffs, high cost of living

What they are saying?: “Overall positive outlook in the economy continues, but we are cautious due to limitations in available manpower,” said an executives at a high-tech company.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.58% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.38% rose in Wednesday trades, extending a recent rally that has taken stocks to record highs.

The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, +1.10% was little changed at 3.1%.