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Summary Box: Service sector grew at slower pace

SERVICE SECTOR GROWING: Service sector business activity grew for the 16th straight month in March, a trade group said Tuesday, but at a slower pace than in February.

SERVICE SECTOR GROWING: Service sector business activity grew for the 16th straight month in March, a trade group said Tuesday, but at a slower pace than in February.

COOLING OFF: The decline in March comes after the sector, which includes retailers, hotels, health care, and financial services, grew at the fastest pace in more than five years in February. A measure of current business activity fell sharply in March, and an employment index showed firms are hiring, but at a slower pace than in February.

ECONOMY GROWING: Despite the drop, economists said the index is high enough to signal modest but steady growth.

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