US services firms saw growth slowdown in July
By JOSH BOAK
Aug. 03, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies grew at a slower pace in July as business activity and new orders slipped.
The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its services index fell to 55.7 last month compared to 59.1 in June. Readings greater than 50 signal an expanding economy.
The services sector, where most Americans are employed, has now grown for 102 straight months, or more than eight years.
The index was pulled down by sharp monthly decreases in business activity and news orders, both of which had been relatively high in June. The employment component of the index improved last month.
The survey that forms the index found that 16 different services sectors reported growth, including mining, accommodation and food services, retail and real estate. Just two sectors reported a decrease: education and professional, scientific and technical services.
Companies in the survey were generally positive about the economy, although several cited risks of the tariffs pushed by the Trump administration on China and the European Union.
"There's a bit of uncertainty across the board" among companies that could be affected by the import taxes being introduced and considered by the Trump administration, said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM's services panel.