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US service sector expands at fastest pace since September as holiday season lifts activity

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A top gauge of the US service sector unexpectedly improved in December as the holiday season brought an influx of new orders and boosted business activity.

The Institute for Supply Management’s services index climbed to 57.2 from 55.9 last month, according to a Thursday press release. The reading is the highest since September and marks seven straight months of growth for the sector. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the index to dip to 54.5.

Readings above 50 indicate sector growth, while those below the threshold signal contraction.

The gains were primarily driven by a 5.8-point improvement for details ⇒

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