Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Services Slipping

A troubling sign for the economy: The Institute for Supply Management’s services gauge fell to a six-year low this week. The ISM’s non-manufacturing index slumped to 51.4, the lowest since February 2010, when we were emerging from the recession. 

The raw drop in the figure, indicating ISM's measure of orders and business activity, was the biggest since 2008, at the outset of the Great Recession. Still, readings above 50 indicate expansion, so we're not in dark territory yet.

Seven of 18 industries that are tracked in the ISM services survey showed a contraction in August, including retail; arts and entertainment; transportation and warehousing; and mining. That compares with just three industries that had fallen in the July survey.

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