Survey data released today pointed to robust conditions in the US economy, with strong expansion in the service sector.
The ISM non-manufacturing gauge, which measures the underlying strength of the US service sector, leapt to its highest level since 2005.
A score of 59.8 for September far exceeded economists´ expectations for 55.5 and marked a sharp increase from the 55.3 level registered in August.
US economy sizzles
A breakdown of the ISM survey reveals sizzling conditions in the service sector, with particular strength in new orders and business activity, which had respective scores of 63 and 61.3.
The survey results suggest that the US economy could be recovering very quickly from any dampening impact related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
It bodes well for US third-quarter economic growth, making it appear extremely likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before year-end.
Reason for caution?
Separately, IHS Markit released its monthly survey of the US manufacturing sector in September. Its business activity index, with a score of 55.3, was consistent with a decent rate of expansion but slightly behind the 56 level registered by its gauge for August.
The Markit survey captured some deterioration in sentiment on the outlook, suggesting future optimism had slipped to its lowest level since February.
Markit expects the US economy to grow at slightly above a 2% annualised rate over the third quarter versus the 3.1% pace of the second quarter, taking into account hurricane related disruption.