An index of the U.S. economy’s service sector improved in August, the Institute for Supply Management said Thursday.
ISM’s monthly services index rose to a reading of 53.7, from 52.6 in July. Figures greater than 50 indicate expansion.
Economists had predicted the index would drop to 52.5, Bloomberg reported.
The index averaged 56.1 in the five years prior to the recession that began with December 2007.
ISM’s services index measures nonmanufacturing components of the economy and the services sector — which includes transportation, retail sales and financial services and accounts for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product.