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News Summary: US service sector grows more slowly

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The Associated Press | December 4, 2013 12:19 PM EST | AP


SLOWDOWN: U.S. service sector firms grew in November at the weakest pace since June. The service sector index came in at 53.9 last month, down from 55.4 in October, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The index hit an eight-year high of 58.6 in August.

THE CULPRITS: A measure of sales fell sharply last month to 55.5 from 59.7, suggesting consumers were more reluctant to spend than they were earlier this year. The sales figure reached 62.2 in August. A gauge of hiring fell to the lowest level since May.

BUT STILL GROWING: Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Economists weren't overly concerned by the declines.