U.S. services companies reported that growth ramped up in November, with a gauge of their activity rising to 59.3% from 57.1% in October, according to a survey of senior executives released Wednesday by the Institute for Supply Management. November's level jumped past a forecast from economists polled by MarketWatch, who had expected a reading of 57.7%. Readings over 50% indicate an overall expansion. Of the industries tracked by Tempe, Ariz.-based ISM, 14 reported growth for last month, while three reported contractions. Also Wednesday, ISM reported that its gauge of new orders for nonmanufacturers showed faster growth in November, hitting 61.4%, up 2.3 points from October, and the gauge of business activity/production increased 4.4 points to 64.4%. Meanwhile, the employment barometer fell 2.9 points to 56.7%.
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