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Service firms see slower growth

Aug. 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM

TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Business activity in U.S. service industries grew in July for the 20th consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

The headline index for service businesses across the country showed slower growth than a month earlier with a reading of 52.7 in July compared with 53.3 in June.

Readings above 50 indicate growth, and the index has stayed above 50 for more than one and a half years.

The new orders index for non-manufacturing businesses slipped from 53.6 to 51.7, also showing slower growth. Employment also showed slower growth, the index dropping from 54.1 to 52.5.

The prices index dropped 9 percentage points after dropping 8.7 percentage points in June. The price index in July dropped from 60.9 to 56.6.

In the month, 13 of 18 service industries tracked in the report showed growth, including transportation and warehousing, mining, real estate -- including rental and leasing -- and arts, entertainment and recreation.

But the number of industries making gains is also a figure in decline. In June, 15 of 18 service industry sectors saw overall gains.

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