U.S. service sector growth picks up in August: ISM

NEW YORK Thu Sep 4, 2014 12:07pm EDT

An empty beer bottle is seen on the bar at the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago, Illinois, May 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Jim Young

An empty beer bottle is seen on the bar at the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago, Illinois, May 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector rose in August to its highest level since at least 2008, according to an industry report released on Thursday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 59.6 last month from 58.7 in July, and was the highest reading since its inception in January 2008. That topped economists' forecasts for 57.5, according to a Reuters survey.

While the index only dates to 2008, an examination of subcomponents with a longer track record indicate the August reading was the highest level of activity since August 2005.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Its index of business activity rose to 65.0 in August, the highest since a matching December 2004 reading. The index was at 62.4 in July.

The employment index also rose, hitting 57.1 in August, the highest since February 2006, compared with 56.0 in July.

(This story corrects the first paragraph to show index at highest since at least 2008, not 2005; adds third paragraph to clarify historical comparison)

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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Comments (3)
lateralgs wrote:
Quick! Be the first “Nattering Naybob of Negativism” to complain about low-paying and part-time service sector jobs, and win a prize!

Sep 04, 2014 10:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BeRealistic wrote:
You might not be able to afford to eat at a nice restaurant, but you can wait tables there. What did I win?

lateralgs, seems you realize the implications of this news, whether you want to accept it or not. Thanks for pointing it out for all to see.

Sep 04, 2014 11:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:
are not Doctors, lawyers, and other professional services part of the ‘service’ industry also, not so low-paying.

Sep 04, 2014 11:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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