PhotoThe non-manufacturing, or services sector of the economy continued to grow in May, although pace of expansion was slower.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) reports sector registered 52.9% last month -- down 2.8% from April. However, it was the 76th consecutive month of expansion.

A reading above 50 indicates an expansion, while below that suggests contraction.

The Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) dropped 3.7% to 55.1%, the New Orders Index registered 54.2% -- 5.7% lower than the month before. The employment Index was down 3.3% to 49.7%, indicating contraction after two consecutive months of growth.

The Prices Index jumped 2.2% to 55.6%, indicating an increase in prices for the second consecutive month.

Industry performance

The 14 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in May were:

  1. Health Care & Social Assistance;
  2. Accommodation & Food Services;
  3. Utilities;
  4. Wholesale Trade;
  5. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting;
  6. Construction;
  7. Public Administration;
  8. Real Estate, Rental & Leasing;
  9. Management of Companies & Support Services;
  10. Information;
  11. Finance & Insurance;
  12. Retail Trade;
  13. Transportation & Warehousing; and
  14. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

Four industries reported contraction:

  1. Mining;
  2. Other Services;
  3. Educational Services; and
  4. Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

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