The Institute for Supply Management said on Thursday its services index slipped in August but to a very strong reading indicating growth in the sector. The services index fell to 59% from 60.3% in July, on a scale where readings over 50% indicate improving conditions. The reading beat the MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast of 58%. A similar gauge released by Markit showed a services reading of 56.1 in August, above the flash reading of 55.2 and up from 55.7 in July. Ahead of Friday's payrolls report, the ISM services employment index fell 3.6 points to 56%.
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