The numbers: CVS, Citibank, Wal-Mart and other service-oriented companies that dominate the economy grew slower in December, a survey showed, just as omicron began to add fresh stress on a U.S. recovery already suffering from widespread labor and supply shortages.
The Institute for Supply Management’s services index dropped to 62% last month from a record 69.1% in November. Readings above 50% signal expansion and numbers above 60% are considered exceptional.
“It’s still reflective of a very strong rate of growth,” said Anthony Nieves, chairman of the survey. “It’s a matter of leveling off” from very high levels in the past few months.
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Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast the index to fall to 66.8%.
The lower ISM reading in December doesn’t capture much…