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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Service Sector Shrinks, But Less Than Expected

The U.S. economy's service sector continued to shrink in June, but at a less-than-expected rate.

Whether that's a sign of an economic bottoming or a meaningless blip is up for debate.

According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) -- a trade group made up of purchasing executives in 18 industries -- the service sector moved back to neutral growth in June.

The ISM uses a scale of 1 to 100 to gauge the health of the service sector, which includes the retail, financial services, restaurant sectors and so on.

Anything below a 50 on the scale means the service sector is declining. Anything over 50 means it's expanding, as it does in good times.

In June, the number hit 47, up from 44 in May. So, still shrinking, but not as much as before. Economists expected the June number to come in at 45.5.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  July 6, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Institute for Supply Management, retail, service sector  
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