US services sector grows at slowest pace since July

Finance news

The U.S. services sector expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in December, according to data released Monday.

The institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index clocked in at 57.6 last month. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the ISM non-manufacturing index to slip to 59 in December. The index hit 60.7 in November. A reading above 50 reflects expansion.

Prices in the services sector fell 6.7 percentage points to 57.6 last month, while employment slipped by 2.1 percentage points to 56.3. December’s reading is also the lowest since July.

ISM’s reading on the U.S. services sector comes after announcing last week its manufacturing index fell to its lowest level since November 2016.

Recently, weaker-than-expected economic data have stoked fears that the global economy may be slowing down. This has sent ripples through global markets as volatility in equities has risen sharply.

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