FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Activity in the US services sector declined to the level of 53.9 points in December from the 54.1 points posted in November, according to the latest report by ISM.

The result is above the market expectations of a 53.5 points reading. The index has remained above the 50 points mark for 57 consecutive months in December, which implies an increase of the economic activity of the sector.

The employment compoment rose to the level of 52.1 points in December from the 50.8 points in November. On the other hand, the prices component declined to the 72.7 points level from the 76.5 post in November, this according to Ian Shephardson, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, Ltd, is the most positive data of the whole report: The only subindex of any interest is employment, which rose to 52.1 from 50.8. This is consistent, if maintained, with modest gains in core private sector payrolls, which fell in the December data released this morning.

More positive contribution came from new orders, supplier deliveries, imports, inventory sentiment and backlog of orders. Negative contribution was seen also in business activity and new export orders. The inventories component remained unchanged between November and December.