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U.S. Service Sector Activity Falls to Seven-Month Low in March

Economic IndicatorsApr 03, 2019 10:01AM ET
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Investing.com - Activity in the U.S. economy’s service sector slowed in March but stayed clearly in expansion territory, according to a closely-watched survey released on Wednesday.

The Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 56.1, its lowest since August 2018, due partly to concerns about labor market constraints.

The news followed on the heels of a separate report showing that private-sector job creation fell well short of expectations in March. The 129,000 new jobs created was the lowest monthly total since September 2017, according to payroll processor ADP.

"The non-manufacturing sector’s growth cooled off in March after strong growth in February," ISM Chair Anthony Nieves said. "Respondents remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy (but) they still have underlying concerns about employment resources and capacity constraints."

A similar survey of the manufacturing sector released on Monday showed factory activity bounced back from a two-year low in the prior month. A reading above 50 for the index indicates expansion in the sector and a reading below signals contraction.

Among the sub-indices, the non-manufacturing business activity index slipped to 57.4 from 64.7. The new orders index, the most forward-looking element of the survey, fell to 59.0 from 65.2 the previous month. The employment index rose to 55.9 from 55.2 previously, while the prices index increased to 58.7 from 54.4.

U.S. Service Sector Activity Falls to Seven-Month Low in March
 

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