The numbers: The huge service side of the U.S. economy grew rapidly in April as states lifted business restrictions, companies hired more workers and consumers spent their stimulus checks.

A survey of service-oriented businesses such as retailers, restaurants and health-care providers slipped to 62.7% last month from a record 63.7% in March, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

The ISM survey fell a bit short of Wall Street expectations. Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast the index to edge up to 64.1%.

‘Don’t focus on the drop. Focus on the fact that the sector is still expanding at its second fastest pace ever.’

— Jennifer Lee of BMO Capital Markets

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