Services Sector Expands in July

Washington, DC, Aug. 3, 2012 -- The U.S. services sector expanded in July, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Supply Management.

The ISM services index ticked higher to 52.6% from 52.1% in June, compared with analysts' expectations of 52%.

Of key components, the business activity/production index rose 5.5 points, and the new orders component rose 1 point.

However, the employment component fell 3 points, and is now contracting.

Readings above 50% indicate expansion.