US Services Sector Grows For Seventh Consecutive Month

Benny Yun, owner of Yang Chow restaurant, left, delivers a take-out order in Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Bigotry toward Asian Americans and Asian food has spread steadily alongside the coronavirus in the United States. Yun said even though his businesses have survived the pandemic, they get prank calls almost daily asking if they have dog or cat on the menu or impersonating a thick Asian accent. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP) — The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, grew for the seventh straight month in December even as coronavirus cases surged through the holidays. The Institute for Supply Management reported Thursday that its index of services activity grew slightly to a reading of 57.2 last month, from a reading of 55.9 in November. Readings above 50 represent expansion in services industries such as restaurants and bars, retail stores and delivery companies. Respondents to the December ISM survey continued to express anxiety about the current business climate and the continued negative ramifications of COVID-19.

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