Survey: US services sector posts strongest profits in 12 years

WASHINGTON – AMERICAN companies in October grew at the best price in more than a dozen years.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its services index rose last month to 60.1 from 59.8 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. The October reading was the greatest since August 2005. The sector has reported growth for 94 consecutive months.

The strength in the services sector is an example of an economy of the V. S. that looks healthier. Employers added a robust 261,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday. The economic growth climbed above an annual level of 3 percent for the past two quarters and solid for the last three months of 2017.

There is no doubt that the U.S. economy seems stronger than a year ago, said Anthony Nieves, chairman of ISM’s non-manufacturing business survey committee.

“The question that remains is how sustainable is this,” Nieves said.

For companies, measures of economic activity and employment improved in the past month. But a measure for new orders — while still positive — is weaker light.

There were 16 sectors reporting growth last month, including construction, retail, finance and insurance and accommodation and food services. Two companies reported contraction: education and the arts and entertainment sector.

Private service sector accounts for more than 70 percent of U.s. employment. The improvement of the conditions section of the sustained economic growth in the coming months.

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