U.S. Service Firm Growth Slows In October

WASHINGTON (November 5, 2012)--U.S. service companies grew at a slightly slower pace in October than in September because of a decline in new orders, but a measure of employment rose, indicating services firms hired more, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday.

The institute said its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.2, down from a six-month high of 55.1 in September.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The report measures growth in a broad range of businesses from retail and construction companies to health care and financial services firms.

The industries covered employ about 90 percent of the work force.

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