While a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday showed the seventh month of contraction in service sector activity in the month of April, the pace of contraction slowed even more than economists had expected.

The ISM said its index of activity in the service sector rose to 43.7 in April from 40.8 in March, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 42.2.

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