U.S. private-sector activity continued to expand in December as service-sector growth picked up and hiring increased, an industry report showed on Wednesday.
Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) – a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes – was 56.2 this month, unchanged from November. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
December’s service sector PMI rose to 56.0 from 55.9 as new orders increased, prompting businesses to take on more staff. The employment index, after hitting an eight-month low of 52.4 last month, jumped to 55.7 in December, the fastest rate of growth since Markit’s data collection began in late 2009.
Across the private sector, the employment gauge rose to 55.4 from 52.4.
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