US Service firms likely slowed a bit in September after record pace in August

Markets Associated Press

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for September. The report will be released at 10 a.m. EDT Friday.

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SLIGHT SLOWDOWN: The expectation is that U.S. services grew at a slightly slower pace in September with the institute's index forecast to dip to a reading of 58.5, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet.

SOLID YEAR: In August, service firms grew at the fastest pace on record, climbing to an index reading of 59.6. That figure fueled hopes of solid economic growth in the third quarter.

The August reading was the highest since the service measure was introduced in January 2008.

Earlier this week, the purchasing managers group reported that its index of manufacturing activity slipped slightly in September to a reading of 56.6, down from 59 in August.

For both indexes, any reading above 50 signals growth.