June 5, 2019 / 2:17 PM / 14 days ago

U.S. service sector activity picks up in May

WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. services sector activity picked up in May and industries hired more workers, which could ease concerns that the economy was slowing sharply following a recent spate of weak reports.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Wednesday its non-manufacturing activity index increased 1.4 points to a reading of 56.9 last month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Last month’s increase in services industry activity reflected a 1.7 points jump in the production subindex. Activity was also boosted by gains in the new orders measure. A gauge of services industry employment surged 4.4 points to the highest level since October 2018. (Reporting By Lucia Mutikani Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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