US services sector grows for seventh straight month

The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, grew for the seventh straight month in December even as coronavirus cases surged through the holidays.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Thursday that its index of services activity slowed slightly to a reading of 57.2 last month, from a reading of 55.9 in November. Readings above 50 represent expansion in services industries such as restaurants and bars, retail stores and delivery companies.

Respondents to the December ISM survey continued to express anxiety about the current business climate.

Thursday’s report showed that business activity and new orders both grew more quickly but the index measuring employment fell into contraction.


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