US services firms expand at fastest pace on record

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. services firms expanded in August at the fastest pace on record.

The Institute for Supply Management says its services index rose to 59.6 last month from 58.7 in July. The August figure is the highest recorded since the measure was introduced in January 2008. Fifteen of 17 industries reported growth last month. Only mining and arts, entertainment and recreation contracted in August.

The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ 90 percent of the American workforce, including retail, construction, health care and financial services firms.