Recovering US economy pushes service sector gauge to record

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Washington (AFP)

An index measuring the health of the massive US service sector climbed to a new all-time high in July as the economy recovers, data said Wednesday, though supply and labor shortages are holding back some firms.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its services index was at 64.1 percent last month, higher than the previous peak recorded in May and well above analysts’ forecasts.

Business activity, employment and prices all climbed in the month, underscoring the positive impact of Covid-19 vaccines and the end of business restrictions that caused a sharp downturn for the service sector last year.

However deliveries slowed in July and inventories continued to struggle in signs that the supply chain issues that have plagued the reopening economy continued.

“Materials…

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