Service Sector Growth Slows in June

The June service sector report from the the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) shows slower growth heading into the second half of the year. The group's non-manufacturing index fell from a more robust reading in May. Despite the drop, the June number still indicates growth, just at a lower rate.

According to the report, "The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 53.8 percent in June, 1.6 percentage points lower than the 55.4 percent registered in May, indicating continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, but at a slightly slower rate." The ISM membership base includes more than 40,000 supply management professionals.

Most economists thought the number would be higher. The news is another sign the the growth of U.S. GDP growth slowed from May to June. Other signs of that have been evident in housing, consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims and unemployment. Economists will look particularly hard at July data to see if it has slipped further.

Recent reports indicate that the slowdown is not limited to the U.S. Forecasts for China and its manufacturing activity data have both fallen off in recent weeks, and more analysts are now worried about the possibility of a global double-dip.

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