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US service sector continued to expand in Aug., but still weak

The massive U.S. service sector grew at a slightly faster pace in August, a new report showed Tuesday. But the sector remains weak.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

The massive U.S. service sector grew at a slightly faster pace in August, a new report showed Tuesday. But the sector remains weak, adding to concerns that the economy is at risk of another recession.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index showed a reading of 53.3 for August, slightly better than expected and giving some insight into the pace of economic recovery. U.S. service firms employ 90 percent of the work force.

Wall Street analysts had expected a reading of 51 versus the 52.7 in the prior month. A number above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Over the past two years, the index has grown in all but one month. It reached a five-year high of 59.7 in February. But growth has declined in four of the past six months.

Data on Friday showed zero net U.S. employment growth and stoked recession concerns. The jobs report was the worst since September 2010.