The non-manufacturing, or services, sector of the U.S. economy grew for an 89th consecutive month in May.
However, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reports the Non-Manufacturing Index expanded at a slower rate last month -- 56.9%, down 0.6% from the April reading.
Fifty is the line that separates expansion from contraction.
The report from the nation’s purchasing and supply executives also shows the Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index was down 1.7% to 60.7%, but still expanded for the 94th consecutive month.
The New Orders also came in lower than in the preceding month -- 57.7%, down 5.5%, while the Employment Index rose 6.4% to 57.8%.
The Prices Index plunged 8.4% from April to 49.2%, meaning that prices fell in May after 13 consecutive monthly increases.
Analysts say that while the services sector’s growth rate slowed last month, the sector continues to reflect strength, buoyed by the strong rate of growth in the Employment Index.
The following 17 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in May:
- Real Estate, Rental & Leasing;
- Accommodation & Food Services;
- Arts, Entertainment &; Recreation;
- Wholesale Trade;
- Health Care & Social Assistance;
- Management of Companies & Support Services;
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services;
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting;
- Retail Trade;
- Finance & Insurance;
- Public Administration;
- Transportation & Warehousing;
- Information; and
- Other Services.
Educational Services was the only industry reporting contraction last month.