US service sector grows at slower pace last month

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Associated Press

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 9:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service sector firms grew in November at the weakest pace since June, evidence that cautious spending by consumers and businesses may be slowing growth.

The Institute for Supply Management says its service-sector index fell to 53.9 in November, from 55.4 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The index hit an eight-year high of 58.6 in August.

A measure of sales fell sharply last month, a sign that consumers were reluctant to spend. And a gauge of hiring fell to the lowest level since May. That suggests job gains could slow when the government reports last month's hiring figures on Friday.

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