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U.S. Service Firms Grow More Slowly, Hiring Weakens

Associated Press (04/03/13) Christopher S. Rugaber

A report released Wednesday by the Institute for Supply Management indicated that U.S. service companies grew at a slower pace in March. The decline hints that companies may be exercising caution in the wake of federal budget cuts. ISM’s index of nonmanufacturing activity declined from 56 in February to 54.4 in March, the lowest level in seven months. Any reading over 50 points to expansion. The hiring gauge fell 3.9 points to 53.3, the lowest level since November.