U.S. Service-Sector Activity Grew More Slowly in December

By Sharon Nunn Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.S. service sector lost momentum for the second consecutive month in December, but still expanded at a healthy pace.

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The Institute for Supply Management on Friday said its nonmanufacturing index fell 1.5 percentage points to 55.9 in December. A reading above 50 indicates activity is expanding across service and other industries, while a number below 50 signals contraction.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a December reading of 57.6.

The overall U.S. economy has expanded at a healthy pace in recent months, bolstered by consumer and business spending. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced across the U.S., expanded at a seasonally and inflation adjusted rate of 3.2% in the third quarter after notching a 3.1% growth rate in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said. That was the strongest six-month stretch of growth in three years.

Write to Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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January 05, 2018 10:39 ET (15:39 GMT)