updated 10/3/2007 10:19:17 AM ET 2007-10-03T14:19:17

The U.S. service economy expanded at a slower pace in September than in August, a trade group said Wednesday.

Major Market Indices

The Institute for Supply Management's index gauging the health of non-manufacturing industries registered at 54.8 in September, down from 55.8 in August and below the 12-month high of 60.7 reached in June.

The index was close to the reading of 54.5 that economists surveyed by Thomson Financial anticipated.

A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion in the service sector, while one below 50 indicates contraction.

The service sector makes up 80 percent of U.S. economic activity and spans industries such as banking, retail, travel, construction, mining and farming.

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