WASHINGTON (AP) — Activity in the services sector, where most Americans work, increased in July but concerns remain about whether the recovery will persist with the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its service sector index rose to a reading of 58.1, up from a June level of 57.1. Any reading above 50 means that the service sector is expanding.

The June advance had been the largest percentage point gain in the history of the services index which goes back to 1997 and had followed an April plunge which had been the biggest point-drop on record. Before declines in April and May, the index had been in expansion territory for more than 10 years.

Earlier this week, the ISM reported that its index that tracks the manufacturing sector rose to a reading of 54.2 in July, up from a June reading of 52.6.


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