April 3, 2013

US service firms grow at slower pace in March

Christopher S. Rugaber / The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. service companies expanded in March at a slower pace, dragged down by less growth in new orders and weaker hiring.

click image to enlarge

Sherman Sykes cooks hamburgers for a lunchtime crowd at his rebuilt restaurant in Henryville, Ind., recently. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.4 last month from 56 in February.

AP

The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.4 last month from 56 in February. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. March's figure is the lowest in seven months.

The report measures growth in industries that cover 90 percent of the work force, including retail, construction, health care and financial services.

Companies kept adding jobs, but at a reduced pace. A gauge of hiring fell 3.9 points to 53.3, the lowest since November. That is a negative sign for the government's jobs report for March, to be released Friday.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)