TEMPE, Ariz., May 3 (UPI) -- The pace of growth among U.S. service industries slowed in April, the Institute for Supply Management said Thursday.
For the second consecutive month, business activity in the service sector showed slower growth than the previous month. The index in April dropped to 53.5 percent, which showed growth for the 28th consecutive month, given numbers above 50 indicate business expansion.
A month earlier, however, the PMI for service-oriented firms stood at 56 percent.
In March, despite an overall slip, the employment index showed faster growth. However, in April that turned around with the employment index dropping from 56.7 percent to 54.2 percent.
Employment has risen for four consecutive months in service businesses.
The components of production and new orders showed growth has continued for 33 consecutive months. The critical new orders index slide from 58.8 percent to 53.5 percent. The production index slipped from 58.9 percent to 54.6 percent.
In the month, 15 of 18 service industries tracked in the report showed growth, led by retail; information services, construction; management of companies & support services; arts, and entertainment & recreation.
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and utilities showed business contraction in the month.