U.S. Services Sector Maintains Growth Momentum

The U.S. services sector demonstrated its resilience in July, extending its growth streak for the seventh consecutive month. The services-activity index, as reported by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), registered a figure of 52.7 for July. While slightly down from the June reading of 53.9, the index remains positive. Economists had anticipated a slightly larger decline to 53.3, according to a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

Steady Expansion in Services Sector

With any reading above 50 indicating expansion, the services sector has been on a growth trajectory since the start of the year and has exhibited consistent expansion for nearly three years now. Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee, acknowledged a marginal slowdown in the rate of growth across business activity, new orders, and employment within the sector. However, respondents expressed cautious optimism about the overall state of the economy.

Mixed Performance within the Services Sector

While the business-activity index experienced a two-point decline, new orders decelerated at a lesser rate, according to the ISM’s figures. Additionally, the supplier deliveries index rose to 48.1, indicating a slight slowdown in the pace of deliveries in July. The employment index dipped to 50.7, suggesting a slight easing in the services job market.

Diverse Growth Across Industries

Out of the 18 industries surveyed by the ISM, 14 expanded in July. This includes notable growth in sectors such as construction, accommodation & food services, real estate, and retail. However, four industries experienced declines during the same period: mining, agriculture & forestry, the arts, and finance.

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