August 4, 2014 / 11:32 PM / in 3 years

Australia services activity edges up in July-AIG

SYDNEY, Aug 5 (Reuters) - A measure of Australia’s services sector improved in July as a pick up in sales and new orders hinted at better times ahead, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The private Australian Industry Group’s performance of services index (PSI) rose 1.7 points to 49.3 in July, just below the 50 mark that is supposed to divide growth from contraction.

Sales and new orders both expanded in the month, though firms remained reluctant to take on new workers.

Growth was concentrated in the health and community services, finance and insurance and accommodation, cafes and restaurants sectors. (Reporting by Wayne Cole)

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