WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services companies in October grew at the best rate in more than a dozen years.
The Institute for Supply Management says its services index rose last month to 60.1 from 59.8 in September. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. The October reading was the biggest since August 2005. The services sector has reported growth for 94 consecutive months.
Measures of business activity and employment improved last month. But a measure for new orders — while still positive — weakened slightly.
There were 16 sectors reporting growth last month, including construction, retail, finance and insurance and accommodation and food services.
Private service-sector workers account for more than 70 percent of American jobs. The improving conditions point to continued economic growth in the months ahead.