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US service sector growth surges in May

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in May as people flock to bars, restaurants and other venues across the country that now have fewer or no pandemic-related capacity restrictions.

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in May as people flock to bars, restaurants and other venues across the country that now have fewer or no pandemic-related capacity restrictions.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its monthly survey of service industries jumped to a reading of 64, topping the previous high of 63.7 in March. April's reading of 62.7 was also considered strong, as any reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.

It's the 12th straight month of expansion in the services sector following a two-month contraction in April and May of last year businesses were forced to shut down during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

The services report comes just days after the ISM's manufacturing report, which showed that demand was so strong that companies were struggling to keep up. Supply chain shortages and difficulty finding enough workers contributed to a backlog of orders and late deliveries.

The services report also showed a significant slowdown in deliveries as companies struggle to keep up with demand.

Matt Ott, The Associated Press