The U.S. services sector grew at a slower rate in May, according to the ISM non-manufacturing index released today. The index came in at 52.9%, down from 55.7% in April.
Markit’s U.S. Services Business Activity Index also showed a weaker than average growth rate for the sector last month, with its index registering 51.3, down from 52.8 in April. While service providers reported an increase in business activity in May, the Markit report said businesses were also were dragged down by weak spending patterns and subdued economic conditions.
U.S. factory orders rose in April by 1.9%, according to data from the Commerce Department. New orders also increased 8.7% in April, led largely by demand for transportation equipment.
U.S. imports and exports were up in April, as well. The Commerce Department reported the international trade in goods and services deficit was up $1.9 billion to $37.4 billion in April, with exports growing $2.6 billion to $182.8 billion and imports rising $4.5 billion to $220.2 billion.