Jan. 4, 2007 -- Despite gains in employment, growth in the nation's service sector slowed down in December, the Institute of Supply Management said Thursday.

Based on a national survey of purchasing and supply managers, the group's services index dropped 1.8 points to 57.1 percent last month. Results above 50 indicate growth.

Top performing industries in December included real estate, rental and leasing outfits, and finance and insurance, the survey said.

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Published on: Jan 4, 2007