Economic Preview: Holding serve: Biggest part of the economy just fine


Restaurants and other businesses that serve customers such as banks and clinics are keeping the U.S. economy’s seven-year-old expansion alive and well.

A lukewarm increase in hiring in August underscored ongoing struggles on the goods-producing side of the economy. Yet most companies in the U.S. these days provide services — banking, health care, dining out and the like — and they are keeping the seven-year-old expansion alive and well.

In an abbreviated week, more evidence is likely to emerge of strong growth on the service side of the economy, easing some of the worries from last month’s employment report.

A closely followed survey of service firms is likely to remain near a level associated with strong growth.

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