US services firms grew at slowest pace since February 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services firms grew at the slowest pace in more than two years last month, a private survey says.

The Institute for Supply Management says its services index fell to 52.9 last month from April’s 55.7. It was the lowest reading since February 2014. Anything above 50 signals growth.

A measure of employment in services fell last month for the first time since February. Services reported slower growth in production and new orders.

The ISM report was more bad news on the economy after the Labor Department reported Friday that employers overall added just 38,000 jobs in May, fewest in five years. Services, which account for more than 70 percent of U.S. jobs, have been a source of U.S. economic strength.

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