The pace of growth in the massive U.S. services sector rose in August on the back of a rebound in employment and exports, though a measure of new orders declined, according to an industry report.
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The Institute for Supply Management said on Thursday its services index jumped to 53.7 last month from 52.6 in July. That beat economists' forecasts for a 52.5 reading.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
ISM's gauge of employment rose to its highest reading since April, climbing to 53.8 from a July reading of 49.3, which was the lowest level in nearly a year.
ISM's measure of exports rose to 52, from 51 in the previous month. However, forward-looking new orders dipped in August to 53.7 from 54.3 in July.