US services sector activity growth slips in September: Markit

A waitress checks an order at Bar Louie restaurant in Chicago.
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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.