WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services firms expanded at a record pace last month, stepping up production and hiring, in another sign of strength for the American economy.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reports that its services index hit 61.6 in September, up from 58.5 in August and the highest in records going back to 2008. Anything above 50 signals growth, and services companies are on a 104-month winning streak.
Seventeen services industries reported growth last month, and none declined.
The uptick reflects a healthy economy. Consumer spending on services rose at an annual pace of 3 percent from April through June, fastest in more than three years.
Private services companies account for more than 70 percent of U.S. nonfarm jobs.