The pace of growth in the U.S. economy's service sector increased in April led by a jump in new orders, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 57.5 from 55.2 the month before. The reading was above expectations of 55.8 from a Reuters poll of 64 economists.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the service sector and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The business activity index rose to 62.4 from 58.9 the month before. That was above a median forecast of 58.4.
The employment index fell to 51.4, its lowest since August, from 51.6 a month earlier.
The new orders index climbed to 63.2, the strongest since August 2005, from 58.9 in March. The prices paid index rose to 57.6 from 53.5 the prior month.
The U.S. economy's manufacturing sector expanded in April but at a slower pace than the previous month, according to an ISM report on the sector earlier in the week.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)