U.S. service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers despite a partial government shutdown, but new order growth slowed for a second straight month, an industry report on Tuesday showed.
The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose a point to 55.4 last month. Economists had expected it to slip to 54.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
While last month's reading was below the near eight-year high of 58.6 reached in August, it was notable for having climbed despite a political standoff in Washington that forced a partial government shutdown for the first 16 days of October.
(Read more: Growth still way too slow: Fed's Rosengren)