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America’s non-manufacturing sector expanded at a quicker pace than expected last month, data on Wednesday showed.

A gauge of US services climbed to 57.5 in April up from 55.2 the previous month, according to the Institute of Supply Management. That was above economists’ estimates of 55.8. A reading above 50 points to an expansion, while that below 50 indicates a contraction.

A breakdown showed that the employment weakened to 51.4 last month, from 51.6 in March, while the new orders index rose by 4.3 percentage points to 63.2.

“April the non-manufacturing sector reflected strong growth after a slowing in the rate from the previous month. Respondents’ comments are mostly positive about business conditions and the overall economy,” the report said.

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