The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national services activity fell to 51.5 in August — the lowest level since January — from 54.3 in July (any number above 50 indicates expansion in the sector). “This was a soft report that further points to slow growth ahead. Consumers may be spending but it doesn’t look as if they went out and blew the bundle on their summer vacation,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors.
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