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ISM Services Index Slips in March

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4/5/2011 10:10:00 AM

The U.S. economy’s service sector declined in March but still showed expansion, the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday.

ISM’s monthly services index fell to a reading of 57.3, from 59.7 in February, ISM said in its monthly report. Figures greater than 50 indicate expansion.

Economists had forecast a reading of 59.5, Bloomberg reported. The index averaged 56.1 during the five-year expansion that ended in December 2007.

ISM’s services index measures non-manufacturing components of the economy, and the services sector, which includes transportation, retail sales and financial services, accounts for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product.

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