When the Tempe, Ariz.-based Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases its March index of non-manufacturing business activity on Wednesday, April 5, it's likely to show that sector of the U.S. economy still growing, but at a slower rate than in February. The consensus forecast is for 59.0%, down from 60.1%.
A slowing of the growth pace among non-manufacturers would match last month's slower growth among manufacturers. ISM's manufacturing index slipped 1.5 percentage points to 55.2% in March from 56.7% in February. New orders dropped 3.5 percentage points, although production edged up a tenth of a point between February and March.