US service sector grows

Washington, April 4 (IANS) US non-manufacturing sector expanded for the 39th straight month in March, but the sector grew at a slower pace than the previous month, a US private survey revealed.

The Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI), which measures activity in the US service sector, dipped to 54.4 percent in March from 56.0 percent in February, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its monthly survey.

The NMI survey covers all sectors outside of manufacturing. A reading above 50 indicates expansion of the service sector, reported Xinhua.

A total number of 15 industries reported expansion last month, including construction and utilities, while three other industries, including mining, reported contraction.

The NMI index is closely watched because the service sector absorbs about 90 percent the US workforce, and is a key indicator for the overall health of US economic recovery.

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