Service sector operates at highest level in almost two years

Business News

FILE – A waiter wears a mask and face covering at a restaurant with outdoor seating Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, registered its sixth consecutive month of expansion in November. The Institute for Supply Management reported Thursday that its index of services activity declined slightly to a reading of 55.9 last month, from a reading of 56.6 in October. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The services sector, where most Americans work, operated in January at the highest level in almost two years.

Activity climbed to a reading of 58.7% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a report Wednesday from the Institute for Supply Management, up a full percentage point from 57.7% the previous month.

This was the highest reading since February 2019 when the index hit 58.8%. The January performance represented the eighth straight month of growth after sharp declines last spring when the economy was leveled by a global pandemic.

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