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U.S. Service-Industry Expansion Cools From Near-Record Pace
Monday, 5 November 2018 22:23 WIB | UNITED STATES |ISM AS

A gauge of U.S. service industries fell by less than forecast in October from a near-record level, suggesting the economy's momentum is holding up this quarter, an Institute for Supply Management survey showed Monday.

Non-manufacturing index declined to 60.3 (est. 59) from 61.6; readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Measure of business activity slipped to 62.5 from a 14-year high of 65.2 the prior month.

Employment gauge declined to 59.7 from a record 62.4.

The index -- which covers sectors representing about 90 percent of the economy -- indicates growth is on track to remain solid in the fourth quarter after posting the best back-to-back periods since 2014, and also helps explain Friday's strong employment report. The business activity index, one of four components of the main gauge, slipped while remaining near the prior reading that was the second-highest in two decades of data.

While companies have flagged concerns about the ongoing trade war and cited higher prices for supplies amid tariffs, the prices-paid index declined to a four-month low. The measure of new orders was little changed from the prior month, while exports held at the best level since April. The gauge of order backlogs decreased.

Still, the trade war may be taking a toll on some companies, with an imports gauge falling to the lowest since February. A measure of supplier deliveries rose, signaling that industries continue to face supply bottlenecks when trying to meet strong demand.

The ISM's services index contrasts somewhat with the latest reading on its factory gauge, which fell by more than forecast in October to a six-month low. That report showed declines in gauges of orders, employment and exports.

Prices index decreased to 61.7 from 64.2, has remained above 50 since early 2016.

Inventory sentiment gauge rose to 62 from 59.5; indicates respondents believe their inventories are too high.

Source: Bloomberg

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