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Services Slowdown Highlights Uneven U.S. Expansion: Economy

Services from banking to transportation grew more slowly in November, pointing to a U.S. economy that is making progress in fits and starts heading into the new year.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index dropped to 53.9 from 55.4 in October, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. A gauge above 50 shows expansion among companies that account for almost 90 percent of the economy. Other reports showed company hiring picked up more than projected last month and sales of new houses surged in October.