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US services sector growth in Sept slows to 3-month low, says Markit
[NEW YORK] Growth in America's services sector eased during September to its slowest rate at any time during the last three months as new business expansion weakened for a second month, an industry report showed on Friday.
Financial firm Markit said its preliminary, or "flash", reading of its Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector slipped to 55.6 in September from the final 56.1 reading in August. A reading over 50 signals expansion in economic activity.
The data matched the 55.6 level forecast by economists in a Reuters survey.
A subindex measuring new business at service companies declined to 55.3, its lowest level since January, from the final reading of 55.7 in August. The employment component slipped in September from August.
"The survey data point to sustained steady expansion of the US economy at the end of the third quarter, but various warning lights are now flashing brighter, meaning growth may continue to weaken in coming months," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
Markit's "flash" composite PMI, a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes, was 55.3, down slightly from 55.7 in August.