U.S. services sector expands slower in April amid supply bottlenecks, elevated inflation

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WASHINGTON, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. services sector posted a slower growth in April than the previous month, amid continued supply bottlenecks and elevated inflation, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported Wednesday.

The Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) registered 57.1 percent, 1.2 percentage points lower than March's reading, according to the latest Services ISM Report on Business. Any reading above 50 percent indicates the services sector is generally expanding.

"While supply remains a problem for service-producers, a pullback in demand and hiring were the top factors weighing on activity during the month," Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery, economists at Wells Fargo Securities, said in an analysis.

"Price pressures show little signs of abating, as finding and retaining qualified workers remains a problem across the industry," they said.

The New Orders Index figure of 54.6 percent is 5.5 percentage points lower than the March reading, the ISM report showed. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 65.1 percent, 1.7 percentage points higher than reported in March, indicating slower deliveries and increased supply chain congestion.

The Employment Index slipped back into contraction territory in April at 49.5, 4.5 percentage points lower than the previous month.

The Prices Index reached an all-time high of 84.6 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from the March figure, according to the report. Enditem

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