The rate of growth in the economy's service sector slowed in July, according to a report released on Friday.
The Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 55.7 in July, from 59.1 the previous month.
Economists had forecast a reading of 58.6.
A reading above 50 for the index indicates expansion in the sector, and a reading below 50 signals contraction.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 56.5 last month, 7.4 points below June’s reading of 63.9.
Economists had forecast a decline to 63.2.
The New Orders Index registered 57.0 in July, 6.2 points lower than the reading of 63.2 in the previous month.
The Employment Index rose 2.8 points to 56.1 last month from June’s reading of 53.6.
The Prices Index increased 2.7 points to 63.4 in July from the prior month’s reading of 60.7.
The ISM indicated that all 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth.
“There has been a ‘cooling off’ in growth for the non-manufacturing sector”, the report said, noting that “tariffs and deliveries are an ongoing concern”.
In any case, the ISM concluded that the majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy.