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.