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U.S. Services Sector Continues Its Recovery in September — ISM

By Maria Martinez

The services sector in the U.S. continued its recovery in September, rising for the fourth consecutive month, data from a survey compiled by the Institute for Supply Management showed Monday.

The ISM Services Report on Business PMI for September rose to 57.8 from the August reading of 56.9. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the indicator to come in at 57.0.

September's reading is over the 50 break-even point that separates expansion over contraction in activity.

"This reading represents growth in the services sector for the fourth straight month and the 126th time in the last 128 months, except for April's and May's contraction," said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM Services Business Survey Committee.

As in the services sector, the ISM Manufacturing Report for September showed U.S. factory output continued its recovery.

In September, the ISM services business activity index rose to 63.0 from 62.4 in August. The new orders index rose to 61.5 from 56.8 the prior month.

The employment index improved in September to 51.8 from 47.9 in August, moving into expansion territory.

The supplier deliveries index, however, fell to 54.9 from 60.5.

Among the 16 services industries reporting growth in September, there are arts, entertainment and recreation; health care and social assistance; and utilities. The only industry reporting a decrease in September is professional, scientific and technical services.

September's services PMI also signaled that the U.S. services sector expanded solidly in September but at a slightly slower pace than in the previous month.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2020 10:42 ET (14:42 GMT)

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