ISM Services Index Slows To Below-forecast 56.9% Reading

By Steve GoldsteinMarketWatch Pulse

A measure of the services side of the economy slowed in September to a below-forecast reading that was the lowest in three months. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to 56.9% from 59% in August, which was below the 57.5% MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast. The report suggests that it's not just issues like the energy price collapse, the dollar's strength and China's weakness which are impacting the domestic economy. "Recent economic turmoil has caused sales to drop. We feel that this will be only temporary if the stock market returns to normal," said one purchasing manager in the retail trade field. That said, any reading above 50% indicates improving conditions.

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