Monday October 24th, 2016 11:57AM

Growth at US service firms slows from 8-year high

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Growth at U.S. service companies slowed in September from an eight-year high in August, as sales fell sharply, new orders dipped and hiring weakened.<br /> <br /> The Institute of Supply Management says its service-sector index fell to 54.4 in September, down from 58.6 in August. August's reading was the highest since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.<br /> <br /> A measure of sales fell seven points to 55.1, indicating much slower growth. And a gauge of hiring also dropped sharply to 52.7 from 57 in August.<br /> <br /> The report measures growth in service industries, which cover 90 percent of the workforce, including retail, construction, health care and financial services.
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