U.S. services sector activity growth eases in August: Markit

NEW YORK Thu Sep 4, 2014 9:55am EDT

Patrons dine at the Jack's Barbecue restaurant in downtown Nashville, Tennessee June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Harrison McClary

Patrons dine at the Jack's Barbecue restaurant in downtown Nashville, Tennessee June 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Harrison McClary

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector dipped in August compared with the previous month, a survey showed on Thursday.

The services sector Purchasing Managers Index compiled by information services company Markit slipped to 59.5 in August from 60.8 in July, but was up from the flash reading of 58.5.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

The employment component rose slightly to 52.9 in August from 52.8 in July, but it was revised downward from a 53.2 flash reading.

"Firms are also still taking on staff in good numbers to meet further growth of demand, with the two PMI surveys suggesting non-farm payrolls should have risen by around 200,000 again in August," Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said, referring to the manufacturing PMI survey that Markit released on Tuesday.

Markit's final composite PMI, a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes, dipped to 59.7 in August from 60.6 in July, but was up from a flash reading of 58.8.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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