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The US economy's service sector growth eased back in August from July's fast pace, with employment, export orders and prices declining, the Institute for Supply Management said Thursday. The ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 59.0 in August from the July surge to 60.3. The service sector, which accounts for roughly 80 percent of US economic activity, continues to show strength after 67 months of expansion, the ISM said.
The European Central Bank on Thursday cut its forecasts for both economic growth and inflation in the single currency area over the next few years. The ECB, in its regular staff projections, was pencilling in growth of 1.4 percent for 2015, 1.7 percent for 2016 and 1.8 percent for 2017, president Mario Draghi said. "The economic recovery is expected to continue, albeit at a somewhat weaker pace than expected earlier," the ECB said.