“Don't call it a comeback / I've been here for years.” – LL Cool J
The U.S. service sector expanded in July at its fastest pace in five months. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its service index rose to 56 last month, exceeding economists' expectations for 53 and a significant improvement over June's 52.2. A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.
Contrary to June's reading, the lowest since 2010, the strong July data supports the view that economic growth will strengthen in the second half of the year. 16 of the 18 industries that the index tracks reported growth in July, including construction, finance, food services, hotel and real estate. Comments from respondents included: “Large projects starting” and “Volumes are slightly higher, mostly due to housing.”