The Institute for Supply Management index for the service sector fell to 52 from 52.9 in October. Economists were caught flat-footed. They had expected 54.
Anything below 50 indicates economic contraction. So, the economy seems to be reversing. It is headed up at a slower rate than before.
The ISM is a widely watched indicator: services and manufacturing. But services are far more important in the US GDP than manufacturing. Services are at least 75% of GDP. So, when the service sector falls, there is a much greater that than when manufacturing falls.
Factory orders fell 0.4% in October, the Commerce Department said Monday.