The pace of growth slowed from September, when the headline Purchasing Managers Index was 53. In October, the PMI fell to 52.9.
The index uses 50 as a break-even point. Above 50 indicates growth. Below 50 indicates a contraction.
The new-orders index for non-manufacturing businesses slid from 56.5 to 52.4. The employment index, however, rose from 48.7 to 53.3.
The prices index dropped from 61.9 to 57.1.
In the month, eight of 18 service industries tracked in the report showed growth, and the production index showed slower output falling from 57.1 to 53.8.