US services sector activity growth slips in September: Markit

A waitress checks an order at Bar Louie restaurant in Chicago.
Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A waitress checks an order at Bar Louie restaurant in Chicago.

The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed in September compared with the previous month, dropping to its lowest level since May, a survey showed on Thursday.

The flash services sector Purchasing Managers Index compiled by information services company Markit slipped to 58.5 in September from 59.5 in August, declining for a third straight month. A Reuters poll forecast the September reading at 59.0.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

"Although the pace of expansion slowed to a four-month low in services in September, the rate remained buoyant and accompanies a similar boom seen in manufacturing," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

The flash employment component rose slightly to 53.9 in September from 52.9 in August.

Markit's flash composite PMI, a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes, dipped to 58.8 in September from 59.7 in August.