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U.S. Service Sector Growth Slows To Nearly Two-Year Low In June

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With President Donald Trump's global trade war creating uncertainty, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. service sector growth slowed to a nearly two-year low in the month of June.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index dropped to 55.1 in June from 56.9 in May, hitting its lowest level since a matching reading in July of 2017.

While a reading above 50 still indicates growth in service sector activity, economists had expected the index to show a more modest decrease to 55.9.

"The comments from the respondents reflect mixed sentiment about business conditions and the overall economy," said Anthony Nieves Chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "A degree of uncertainty exists due to trade and tariffs."

The bigger than expected drop by the headline index came as the business activity index tumbled to 58.2 in June from 61.2 in May and the new orders index slumped to 55.8 from 58.6.

The employment index also plunged to 55.0 in June from 58.1 in May, indicating a significant slowdown in the pace of job growth in the service sector.

On the other hand, the report said the prices index surged up to 58.9 in June from 55.4 in May, pointing to a notable reacceleration in the pace of price growth.

The ISM released a separate report on Monday showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of June.

The purchasing managers index edged down to 51.7 in June after slipping to 52.1 in May, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to dip to 51.0.

With the continued decrease, the index dropped to its lowest level since hitting a matching reading in October of 2016.

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