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Service sector activity falls, but not as quickly

January 06 2009

Economic activity in the U.S. service sector declined in December compared with November, but the rate of decline slowed, the Institute for Supply Management reported today. Its nonmanufacturing index rose to a reading of 40.6 in December from November's reading of 37.3. The nonmanufacturing index was expected to slip further, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Index readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Employment in the service sector also contracted in December, but at a slower rate than November, according to the institute's nonmanufacturing employment index, which is used to make up the larger nonmanufacturing index. The employment index rose to 34.7 in December from 31.3 in November.

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