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U.S. Services Gauge Climbs to Record, Showcasing Faster Recovery

  • ISM orders, activity indexes pick up from month earlier
  • Measure of order backlogs also highest in data to 1997
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U.S. service providers expanded at the fastest pace on record in May, highlighting the rapid improvement in business activity across the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s services index rose to 64 last month -- the highest in data back to 1997 -- from 62.7 in April, data showed Thursday. Readings above 50 signal growth, and the gauge exceeded the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.