This morning’s report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on non-manufacturing PMI showed that the U.S. services sector is growing, but at its slowest pace in the past 12 months. The index reading for June was 52.2%, where any reading above 50% indicates expansion. The reading for June was 1.5% lower than the 53.7% index reading in May.
Economists were expecting a reading of 54.5% in June.
The services sector is still growing, just very slowly. The subindexes for business activity, new orders, inventories and new export orders declined, while employment continued to rise. New orders declined the most, down 5.2%, followed by a 4.8% decline in business activity and a 2.5% decline in new export orders. Employment rose by 4.6%.
The weakness in new orders indicates that spending may be tapering off, as both consumers and businesses keep closer tabs on discretionary spending. The drop in new export orders points to a weaker global economy.
The services PMI is generally thought to be a less timely barometer of U.S. economic activity than the ISM’s manufacturing PMI, which came in at 50.9% earlier this week, the manufacturing index’s fifth gain in six month.