WASHINGTON — Growth in the U.S. services sector slowed sharply in September to the lowest level in three years, suggesting that rising uncertainty is weakening the bulk of the economy.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its non-manufacturing index slipped to 52.6 from 56.4 in August. Readings above 50 signal growth, but September’s figures are the lowest since August 2016.
The downshift in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, coincides with a U.S.-China trade war that has been squeezing manufacturers. The services sector has so far mainly weathered those pressures, but slower global growth, rising trade tensions and persistent uncertainties may be spilling into services industries.
Sales, new orders and employment all slowed, and companies expressed concerns about tariffs.
Bani Sapra, The Associated Press