The U.S. services sector expanded at a faster pace in February as the non-manufacturing business activity composite index was 59.7 in February, up from 59.4 in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Institute for Supply Management reported Thursday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a 59.7 level.

The prices paid index, closely watched for signs of inflation, jumped to 73.3 from 72.1. The employment index increased to 55.6 from 54.5.

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