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U.S. service providers indicated an upturn in business activity growth from the six-month low recorded during August. Nonetheless, the pace of expansion remained modest and softer than its post-crisis trend, largely reflecting subdued new business gains in recent months.
The latest survey highlighted that new work increased at the weakest rate since May, which contributed to another moderation in staff hiring across the service economy. The rise in payroll numbers during September was only marginal and the slowest seen for three-and-a-half years.
The seasonally adjusted final Markit U.S. Services Business Activity Index registered 52.3 in September ('flash' reading: 51.9), up from 51.0 in August, to signal the fastest upturn in service sector output since April.