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

By Sharon NunnFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

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

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.

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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

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