USA/POST-OFFICE

Service-Sector Growth Slows Less than Expected in August

Politics Reuters

U.S. services sector growth remained robust during August but backed away from a ten-year peak touched in July as new orders, employment and pricing eased month over month, an industry report showed on Thursday.

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The Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to 59 last month from 60.3 in July, which was its highest since August 2005. Analysts were looking for a reading of 58.1 in August, according to a Reuters survey.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The ISM's index of business activity fell to 63.9 last month from July's reading of 64.9. Analysts were looking for a reading of 61.

The new orders index fell to 63.4 from 63.8, while the employment index dropped to 56 from 59.6.

The index on prices slumped to 50.8 from 53.7. (Reporting By Michael Connor in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)