Activity at US services companies stays at high level

U.S. services companies grew again in December amid the holidays, maintaining the high pace reached in the previous month.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade organization of purchasing managers, says that its services index stayed at 57.2 in December, matching the November figure. It was the strongest reading since October 2015. Anything above 50 signals growth.

The services industry has now grown for 83 straight months. The strength in December reflected in part a strong gain in new orders.