- Ben Sklar/Getty images
Service-sector activity in July grew at the slowest pace in five months, according to Markit Economics’ preliminary report.
The flash services purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for July came in at 50.9.
Economists had forecast that it improved to 52 from 51.4 in June, according to Bloomberg.
Above 50, the index indicates that the service sector is still in expansionary territory.
The pace of job creation picked up a bit, while both input and output costs rose modestly.
“A bit more encouraging was the rebound in business confidence following June’s survey low, suggesting that a return to stronger growth will be possible once the current soft patch comes to an end,” said Markit senior economist Andre Harker in the release.
“Whether this will be before the presidential election or not remains to be seen, however.”
The service sector is the most important to the US economy, as it accounts for two-thirds of economic activity and creates most jobs in professions from teaching to bartending.
Markit’s June report had pointed to a subdued level of economic growth in the second quarter. The advance estimate of Q2 GDP will be released on Friday.
- Markit Economics