The U.S. services sector decreased at a slightly slower pace in June as the non-manufacturing business activity composite index was 52.2 in the month, compared to 53.7 in May, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a 54.0 level.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.

The prices paid index rose to 52.5 from 51.1.

The employment index increased to 54.7 from 50.1.

The business activity/production index fell to 51.7 from 56.5, the new orders index was at 50.8, down from 56.0; backlog of orders rose to 52.0 from 51.5; new export orders fell to 47.5 from 50.0; inventories rose to 54.5 from 51.5; inventory sentiment fell to 61.5 from 62.5; the supplier deliveries index decreased to 51.5 from 52.0; and imports rose to 53.5 from 49.5.

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