The U.S. service sector expanded in December, but the pace of growth slowed for the second consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday.
With numbers above 50 indicating growth, the institute said its purchasing managers index for service-oriented firms dropped from 53.9 in November to 53 in December. In October, the index stood at 55.4.
Despite slower growth, November is the 48th consecutive month the service sector had expanded.
The new orders index for service firms in December dropped from 56.4 to 49.5. The employment index, which measures the number of employees, showed faster growth in December, as that index reached 55.8 from November's 52.5 level.
The new export orders index showed slight expansion in orders from abroad with the index at 51.5 in December.
Of the eight industries reporting declines, the three sharpest drops were reported by arts, entertainment and recreation; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and transportation and warehousing.
The institute said eight non-manufacturing industries reported growth in December while eight reported contractions.
Growth was led by management of companies, retail trade and other services. Contractions were paced by mining, arts and entertainment, and educational services.
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Original headline: Service firm index indicates flatter growth in December
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