Stateside service sector activity increased in December, but not as much as expected. So says the latest in the seemingly endless torrent of reports casting doubt on US growth prospects.

The Institute of Supply Management’s services index dropped from 57.4 in November to 54.7 last month. Although still above the 50.0 boundary between expansion and contraction, the reading is below analysts’ expectations of 55.

Nevertheless, the index has remained above 50 for eleven months in a row, though such growth has been achieved with a declining workforce. ISM figures show the service sector shed jobs for the twenty-second successive month in December.

The US readings mirror the slowdown in the Eurozone service sector’s growth, reported yesterday [WAMN: 07-Jan-03].

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff