The Institute for Supply Management released a report on Wednesday showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in the month of September.
The ISM said its services PMI edged down to 56.7 in September from 56.9 in August, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the sector. Economists had expected the index to dip to 56.0.
“Growth continues — at a slightly slower rate — for the services sector, which has expanded for all but two of the last 152 months,” said Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.
He added, “The services sector had a slight pullback in growth for the month of September due to decreases in business activity and new orders.”
The report showed the business activity index slid to 59.1 in September from 60.9 in August, while the new orders index fell to 60.6 from 61.8.
Meanwhile, the employment index climbed to 53.0 in September from 50.2 in August, indicating the second straight month of job growth in the service sector.
The ISM also said the prices index decreased for the fifth consecutive month, dropping to 68.7 in September from 71.5 in August.
On Monday, the ISM released a separate report showing activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed by more than expected in the month of September but still saw continued growth.
The ISM said its manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9 in September from 52.8 in August, while economists had expected the index to edge down to 52.2.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the manufacturing PMI dropped to its lowest level since hitting 43.5 in May 2020.
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