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US service sector picks up speed in April: ISM

[WASHINGTON] The US economy's service sector sped up in April after the first-quarter sag, the Institute for Supply Management reported on Tuesday.

The ISM purchasing managers index for services, by far the lion's share of economic activity, rose to 57.8 from 56.5 in March. A level above 50 represents expansion.

Business activity and output surged by 4.1 points to 61.6, the new orders sub-index rose 1.4 points to 59.2, and hiring ticked higher by 0.1 point to 56.7.

Price gains slowed, and new export orders contracted, confronted by the strong dollar.

Survey respondents in 14 of 18 service business sectors reported growth in April, ISM said.

"Overall, we see positive trends; spending has improved," said one from the retail trade.

"Business remains strong for this time of the year and looks good for the next 12-18 months," said a person from the wholesale trade.