December 3, 2023

Service Sector Expands, Slowly, for a 16th Month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s service sector expanded in March for the 16th consecutive month, although growth slowed from the previous month’s rate, which was the fastest in more than five years.

The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, said on Tuesday that its index of service sector activity dropped to 57.3 last month, from 59.7 in February.

It was the first decline in seven months. Still, any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The index fell to 37.6 in November 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.

“The report shows a few scattered signs of slowing momentum, but not enough to disrupt the overall picture of continued growth,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities, about the service index.

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