The US services sector is weaker than it's been for most of 2016

Activity in the services sector slowed in August to the most sluggish pace since early this year, according to Markit Economics.

The flash purchasing manager’s index for August came in at 50.9, matching the weakest print since February. According to Bloomberg, economists had estimated that the index rose to 51.8 from 51.4 in July.

A reading above 50 indicates that the sector is still expanding, although the pace right now is slow.

Employment grew at the weakest pace in 20 months, while new work continued to be slack.

But service providers were bullish on the next 12 months, and hoped that their clients pick up spending again after the elections.

“The ongoing lacklustre economic growth signalled by the flash PMI suggests GDP growth is failing to accelerate in the third quarter from the weak 1.2% pace seen in the second quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at Markit, in the release.

Services contribute to most of the US economy’s growth and job creation.

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