Growth in the U.S. services sector cooled last month after approaching an eight-year high in August as the pace of new orders dipped and hiring slowed, according to an industry report released on Thursday.
The Institute of Supply Management non-manufacturing survey index fell to 54.4 in September from 58.6 in August, which was the highest pace since December 2005. A reading above 50 in the index indicates an expansion in the U.S. service sector.
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September's reading fell short of the 57.4 consensus expectation in a Reuters poll and even undershot the lowest forecast among the 74 economists surveyed.
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