Sur­vey: U.S. ser­vices firms grew in Novem­ber

Greenwich Time - - BUSINESS -

U.S. ser­vices firms grew at a slightly stronger pace in Novem­ber, a sign that the re­cent stock mar­ket sell-offs have yet to dampen en­thu­si­asm among con­sumers. The In­sti­tute for Sup­ply Man­age­ment, which is com­posed of pur­chas­ing man­agers, re­ported Thurs­day that its ser­vices in­dex rose to 60.7 last month, up from 60.3 in Oc­to­ber. Read­ings above 50 point to fur­ther ex­pan­sion. Ser­vices com­pa­nies have been ex­pand­ing for 106 months, or al­most nine years.

The gain sug­gests that the U.S. ex­pan­sion should con­tinue, de­spite signs of a global slow­down and con­cerns about a trade war es­ca­lat­ing be­tween the United States and China. But the com­pa­nies sur­veyed for the in­dex also ex­pressed con­cern that high tar­iffs would hin­der busi­ness. Pri­vate ser­vices com­pa­nies ac­count for more than 70 per­cent of U.S. non­farm jobs.

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