Service-Sector Expansion Slows in March

The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slipped in March after hitting its highest level in a year the previous month, as a gauge of new orders declined, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services sector index fell to 56.0 last month from 57.3 in February, shy of economists' forecasts for 57.0.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The new orders index declined to 58.8 from 61.2, though the employment index improved to 56.7 from 55.7. A measure of prices paid was dialed back to 63.9 from 68.4.