Washington, DC, Jan. 4, 2013 -- Growth in the services sector increased in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management services sector index.
The index rose to 56.1% from 54.7% in November. Economists had expected a 54.7% reading.
The new-orders index rose by 1.2 percentage points to 59.3% and the employment index increased 6 percentage points to 56.3%. Readings above 50% indicate expansion.