January 4, 2013 9:30 AM, EST
ISM Services Index Rises to 10-Month High, Factory Orders Flat

An index of the U.S. economy’s service sector increased in December to a 10-month high, the Institute for Supply Management said Friday.

ISM’s monthly services index rose to a reading of 56.1, from 54.7 in November. Figures greater than 50 indicate expansion. Economists had forecast the index would drop to 54.1, Bloomberg reported.

Another report Friday by the Commerce Department, showed factory orders were little changed in November at $477.6 billion from $477.4 billion the prior month.

Economists’ had forecast a 0.4% rise, Bloomberg reported.

Capital goods orders excluding aircraft and military orders, a measure of future business investment, climbed 2.6% following a 3% rise in October.

The trucking industry relies on factory orders and shipments for much of its business.