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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

May 5 (Bloomberg) — Service industries expanded in April at the fastest pace in eight months, a sign the biggest part of the U.S. economy will bolster growth this quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 55.2, higher than projected, from the prior month’s 53.1, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 54 in the gauge for services, which account for almost 90 percent of the economy.

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