Service sector activity in the US grew at a slower pace than expected in July according to purchasing managers in the US, data on Thursday revealed.
The Institute for Supply Management reported its headline index of business activity in the non-manufacturing sectors fell to 53.9 in July from 57.4 in June, falling short of an expected 57 reading.
While the index fell in July, activity in the services sectors still expanded. Any figure above 50 represents growth.
New orders fall
One of the biggest contributing factors behind the fall in the headline index was slower growth in new orders, with survey respondents reporting slowing business volumes as early as June.
The report tallied with Tuesday's data, which surveyed the manufacturing sector in July. The headline index slipped to 56.3 from 57.8 – a smaller fall from a higher starting level – but, nonetheless, evidence of slowing activity.
Here too, slowing new order growth was a contributory factor behind the fall in the main index.