US Service Sector Remains Strong After Slower Expansion in November

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday its index of nonmanufacturing activity fell by 2.7 percentage points to a reading of 57.4. Any reading above 50 indicates expanding sector activity as measured by factors like sales, prices and hiring.

Activity in the US service sector grew at a slower than expected rate in the month of November, the Institute for Supply Management revealed in a report released on Tuesday.

"According to the NMI, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth". Even with the slowdown, which follows a hurricane-related surge in activity, the index is above the 57 average for this year through October.

"Consumer confidence is there and companies are also reacting favorably to the current business conditions", said Anthony Nieves, who heads the ISM survey. "Comments from the survey respondents indicate that the economy and sector will continue to grow for the remainder of the year".

A recent report released by the Federal Reserve showed that US economy continued modest to moderate growth pace in October and mid-November, with price pressures building up.

On the inflation front, the report said the prices index fell to 60.7 in November from 62.7 in October but still suggested price growth.

The report compares with a smaller drop in the ISM's latest factory survey, which showed manufacturing expanded at a healthy pace in November amid a burst of production and rising orders.

The Institute for Supply Management's monthly non-manufacturing index slipped almost three points in November to 57.4, which is only four-tenths above the 12-month average.

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