Growth at service firms jumps on new orders

WASHINGTON • U.S. service firms expanded in July at the fastest pace since February, fueled by a brisker month of business and a rise in new orders. The increase suggests economic growth could be starting to pick up after a weak first half of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of service-sector growth rose in July to 56.0. That’s up from 52.2 in June. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The survey covers businesses that employ 90 percent of the workfor...

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