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ISM: Service sector continues expansion in February

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(Read caption) At 56.9 the business activity index improved a slight 0.89 percent since January but remained 5.64 percent below the level seen a year earlier.

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Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business indicating that service related business activity continued to expand in February as assessments of service-sector related activity generally improved with the business activity component increasing slightly while the overall non-manufacturing index climbed to 56.0 from last months reading of 55.2.

At 56.9 the business activity index improved a slight 0.89% since January but remained 5.64% below the level seen a year earlier.

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This month, service industry respondents are sounding very positive with all respondent quotes citing improving activity and "positive signs":

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"Our business is beginning to turn up slightly." (Health Care & Social Assistance)

"Business seems to be improving; RFQ volume and orders also up." (Management of Companies & Support Services)

"Continuing to see slight uptrend in activity, primarily related to 1st quarter initiatives started." (Finance & Insurance)

"Construction market showing some positive signs." (Real Estate, Rental & Leasing)

"The economy continues to slowly pick up, perhaps at an even faster pace than had been previously projected. New housing permits and business licenses are at a multiyear high, although still lower than pre-recession." (Public Administration)

"February bouncing back to forecast levels, which was 11 percent over 2012." (Wholesale Trade)

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"Business is picking up; more projects to bid and things are improving." (Construction)