SERVICE SECTOR: Service firms that employ 90 percent of the U.S. work force expanded at a slightly faster pace in August, but the sector remains weak.
INDEX UP: The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index for service companies rose to 53.3 in August, from 52.7 in July. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: While the service sector has grown in all but one month over the past two years, growth has declined in four of the past six months. High gas prices and scant wage gains have left consumers with less money to spend on services.