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The services sector continued to grow in September, but at a slower rate, according to the Institute for Supply Management's Report on Business released today .
The Institute's Non-Manufacturing Index registered an overall 54.4% rating, down from August's 58.6% and below market analysts' expectations of a 57% reading. An above-50 index denotes positive change from the previous month.
The index is comprised of four main components, with mixed messages from different indicators. Business activity took a major 7.1-point dip to 55.1%, employment fell 4.3 points to 52.7%, and the price component increased 3.8 points to 57.2%.
While the overall report didn't match up to expectations, new orders kept up solid numbers, easing down 0.9 points to a respectable 59.6%. Considering August's report marked the best numbers since the early recovery , this report keeps the services sector on solid ground.
Eleven of 15 services industries reported growth in September, led by retail trade. Arts, entertainment, and recreation recorded the largest contraction of the four falling industries .