Washington Manufacturing grew at a slower pace and construction spending dipped, suggesting an economic recovery that roared out of the starting gate may be losing a bit of steam.
The Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday that its index of business activity dipped to 53.9 in April from a revised 55.6 percent in March. Analysts had been expecting a reading of 55.0.
Because an index over 50 signifies growth in manufacturing, April's figure indicates continued expansion in the sector, although at a slower pace than in March.
In another report, the Commerce Department said construction activity fell 0.9 percent in March, led by a sharp drop in spending on highways, hospitals, schools and other big government projects.
The decline came after a 0.7 percent rise in February. The March performance was weaker than analysts expected; they were forecasting a 0.2 percent dip.