The ISM reading, a multi-component figure that tracks manufacturing strength, was expected to come in at around 55.5, which is its average during periods of expansion going back to 1997.
Bucking the trend of mixed-to-weak trade war-related signals, the ISM reading for May registered gains of 56.9, up from 55.5. New orders rose to 58.6 from 58.1, and employment had a very healthy gain, up to 58.1 from 53.7. Trade related components of the data softened, such as supplier deliveries, imports and exports came in lower while inventories rose to 54 from 51.5.
In the lowest monthly figure in nine years, private companies in May added 27,000 jobs, according to ADP. The market expected a reading of 185,000. By sector, losses were largest in mining, manufacturing, and construction.
May data is especially surprising given ADP's April reading, revised to 271,000.
In jobs lost, large businesses fared better than small, as losses for companies employing fewer than 50 employees was the highest at 52,000.
As for the public sector, the government's official hiring report will be released on Friday. Economist estimates vary from low-100K to low-200K figures. The unemployment rate will remain unchanged at 3.6%.
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