Summary Box: US service firms grow, boost hiring

Associated Press Published: April 4, 2012
Advertisement
;

SERVICE FIRMS EXPAND: Rising consumer spending is boosting retailers, restaurants and other service companies. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity dropped to 56. That's down from February's 57.3, which was a 12-month high. But any reading above 50 indicates expansion and 56 is a healthy level.

HIRING ROSE: A measure of employment rose to nearly a six-year high, as more companies said they are adding workers.

ECONOMY GROWING: The survey covers roughly 90 percent of U.S. workers in all industries outside manufacturing. The level of the index points to steady economic growth.