WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, slowed in August after big rebounds in June and July, indicating lingering problems stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Institute for Supply Management reported Thursday that its index of activity in the services activity showed a reading of 56.9% in August, down 1.2 percentage-points from the July reading of 58.1.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the services sector. By that measure, the services sector has shown growth for three straight months after taking a big hit in the spring when the country shut down to combat the coronavirus.
Business activity and new orders continued to expand in August but at a slower pace than the July surge. The index measuring employment contracted for a sixth straight month, a sign of the millions of workers who have been laid off or furloughed in service industries such