Republican Recession Watch: Service Sector Begins Fail

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We continue to pay the price for Republican economics.

New recession alarms shook Wall Street Tuesday as a key survey of service sector executives showed business activity retreating in January for the first time in nearly five years.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) non-manufacturing index came in with a reading of 44.6, a new summary number for the report.

The 44.6 summary number is a new reading that does not have comparable readings from past reports.

The reading for business activity in the service sector plunged to 41.9 in January from 54.4 in December. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a reading of 53.

A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector, and a reading below 50 represents a sector-wide decline. The January reading is the first below 50 since March 2003.