Growth in all economic sectors, excluding manufacturing, continued in March 2013, according to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business report. The non-manufacturing index (NMI) covers 90 percent of the U.S.economy and was at 54.4 percent in March 2013. Any reading above 50 percent is indicative of growth.
Despite signaling expansion, the numbers did show a decline from February 2013, when the index was 1.6 percent higher at 56 percent. Declines in the overall index in March were pushed by a slowing in employment activity, which fell 3.9 points to 53.3 percent, and a dip in new orders to 54.6 percent, down 3.6 percent from 58.2 the month before.
"People are starting to worry about the traditional springtime swoon in the economy," said senior Treasury trader at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Thomas Roth, reported Bloomberg.
The slight dip in March 2013 would be the fourth consecutive year of the economy losing speed during March or April, Bloomberg noted.
Though the pace of growth is slowing, the economy is still growing. Among sectors polled, 15 reported growth during the month, including construction, retail, real estate, technical, scientific and professional services. Mining, healthcare and agriculture all reported contractions.