NEW YORK – Growth in the giant U.S. services sector eased more than expected in June, although new orders grew and job prospects improved moderately, a survey showed Tuesday.
The Institute for Supply Management's (search) non-manufacturing index fell to 59.9 in June from 65.2 in May. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a dip, but only to 63.0.
A number above 50 indicates growth in services, which include everything from restaurants and hotels to banks and airlines, accounting bs, car sales and consumption in general, so I have to believe that maybe it may be reflective of some moderation in the economy," said Peter Kretzmer, senior economist at Banc of America Securities (search).
More companies said in the survey they intended to take on new workers -- ISM's employment index rose to 57.4 in June from 56.3 in May. A harbinger of growth, new orders edged up to 62.4 from 61.3.
Inflationary pressures continued to build, with the prices paid index inching up to 74.6 from 74.4.