Like manufacturing, growth in the non-manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy slowed in September. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index of business activity fell just over four percentage points last month to 52.9% from 57.0% in August.
A figure above 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector is growing; a figure below 50% signals that it is contracting.
New orders and employment grew faster in September than in August, but prices fell 15.7 percentage points.
The strength of the overall U.S. economy, the level of interest rates and security issues remain concerns for non-manufacturers, said Anthony Nieves, chair of ISM's non-manufacturing business survey committee and senior vice president for supply management at Hilton Hotels Corp.