Service sector operates at highest level in almost two years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The services sector, where most Americans work, operated in January at the highest level in almost two years.

Activity climbed to a reading of 58.7% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a report Wednesday from the Institute for Supply Management, up a full percentage point from 57.7% the previous month.

This was the highest reading since February 2019 when the index hit 58.8%. The January performance represented the eighth straight month of growth after sharp declines last spring when the economy was leveled by a global pandemic.