An index of the U.S. economy’s service sector declined in March but showed overall continued expansion, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.
ISM’s monthly services index slipped to a reading of 56, from 57.3 in February. Figures greater than 50 indicate expansion.
Economists had forecast the index would decline to 56.8, Bloomberg reported.
The index averaged 56.1 in the five years prior to the recession that began December 2007.
ISM’s services index measures non-manufacturing components of the economy, and the services sector, which includes transportation, retail sales and financial services, accounts for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product.