US services firms grew in June at fastest pace in 7 months

U.S. services firms expanded last month at the fastest pace since November, good news for the U.S. economy.

The Institute for Supply Management says its non-manufacturing index rose to 56.5 in June from 52.9 in May. Any reading above 50 signals growth. Production, new orders and export orders grew faster in June. Employment grew last month after contracting in May.

Services have been a source of strength for the American economy. The ISM services index has shown growth for 77 straight months.

Employees of private services companies hold 71 percent of American jobs (not including farm workers), and services firms account for 94 percent of the 12.9 million jobs created since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.

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