Growth In U.S. Services Sector Slows In July

By Agence France-Presse Growth in the U.S. services sector slowed for the second month in a row in July, a survey by the Tempe, Ariz.-based Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed Aug.5. The ISM index of non-manufacturing activity slid further than expected to 53.1% in July from 57.2% in June. Any figure above 50% still indicates an increase in activity. "In July, non-manufacturing business activity increased at a slower rate than in June," says ISM survey coordinator Ralph Kauffman. "The reported growth represents the sixth consecutive month of expansion in non-manufacturing business activity but the second consecutive month of reduced rates of expansion." An index reflecting growth in new orders slid to 52.6% in July from 56.9% in June. A barometer indicating the size of the backlog of new orders slid to 43.5% in July from 49% in June. The employment index rose to 45.8% from 44.3%, indicating a slower contraction in job levels. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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