US services sector activity growth slows in October: Markit

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The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed in October compared with the previous month to its lowest level in six months, a survey showed on Monday.

The flash services sector Purchasing Managers Index compiled by information services company Markit slipped to 57.3 in October from 58.9 in September, hitting its lowest rate since April. A Reuters poll forecast the October reading at 58.0.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

"The weakened growth of new orders and downturn in business optimism suggest that growth and hiring could slow further in the coming months," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

The new business component slipped to 57.8 in October from 59.4 in September, hitting its lowest in three months.

Markit's flash composite PMI, a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes, dipped to 57.4 in October from 59.0 in September.