Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A trade group says its measure of the health of the U.S. services economy shrank in May at the slowest pace since October.
The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday its services index registered 44 in May, slightly up from 43.7 in April. It is the highest reading since last October, when the index was at 44.6.
It was the eighth straight monthly decline. And it is still below the reading of 45 that economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected.
Any reading below 50 indicates the services sector is shrinking.
Service industries such as retailers, financial services, transportation and health care make up about 70% of the country's economic activity.