The U.S. services sector expanded at a quicker pace in February as the non-manufacturing business activity composite index was 57.3 in the month, compared to 56.8 in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Institute for Supply Management reported Monday.

Economists expected a 56.1 level.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.

The prices paid index gained to 68.4 from 63.5, the employment index decreased to 55.7 from 57.4, the business activity-production index rose to 62.6 from 59.5, and the new orders index was at 61.2, up from 59.4.

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