Service sector shows slow growth

Nov. 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

TEMPE, Ariz., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The pace of growth among U.S. service industries slowed in October from September, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday.

The Purchasing Managers Index for non-manufacturing businesses has shown growth for 34 consecutive months. But the PMI slid from 55.1 to 54.2, indicating growth slowed. Once the figure hits and then falls below 50, that indicates the service sector is breaking even and then contracting. Above 50 indicates growth.

The index for new orders also indicated growth slowing down. Although above 50 for the 39th consecutive month, the index for new business orders feel from 57.7 to 54.8.

The Employment Index, which tracks the number of employees, rose for the third consecutive month and growth in employees picked up the pace, with the index rising from 51.1 to 54.9.

The prices index slowed from 68.1 to 65.6. The inventories index remained negative, as the index dropped from 48.5 to 46.5.

In a telling portion of the monthly report, the ISM said 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in October while five reported contraction.

The strongest growth was reported by agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, followed by construction, management of companies, finance and professional, scientific and technical services.

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