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U.S. service sector growth hits fastest in 12 years -ISM

Oct 4 (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the U.S. economy's service sector accelerated in September to fastest in 12 years, led by stronger new orders and employment, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 59.8, which was the highest since the August 2005 reading of 61.3. The latest reading also topped expectations of 55.5 from a Reuters poll of economists.

The index was 55.3 the month before. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)