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Data: Institute of Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. services sector is growing at a record pace.

Why it matters: Labor shortages and supply chain issues have hindered business activity across sectors, but not so much that businesses aren’t able to grow at a high clip.

By the numbers: The ISM services PMI, an index that tracks activity in nonmanufacturing industries, jumped to a record high 64.1 in July from 60.1 in June.

  • All 17 services industries reported growth in July.
  • The employment index rose to 53.8 from 49.3 in the prior month, which suggests hiring conditions are improving.
  • However, the supplier deliveries index climbed to 72.0 from 68.5, meaning it’s taking longer on average for vendors to get supplies to their customers.
  • Also, the prices paid index increased to 82.3 from 79.5, which means inflation.

The big picture: "Rising case counts and the particularly virulent Delta variant are threatening to disrupt the recreation renaissance we have been counting on to drive a services spending boom this summer," Wells Fargo’s Sarah House wrote. "Through July at least, the service sector is still cranking at full throttle."

Go deeper

Business leaders expect wages to keep going up

Expand chart
Data: NABE Business Conditions Survey; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

America’s business leaders expect to keep shelling out higher wages to employees.

Driving the news: According a new quarterly survey released today by the National Association for Business Economics, a record high 58% of respondents increased pay at their firms during the third quarter — and nearly the same share expects to do so again in the coming months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

Supply chain shortages' latest victim: crutches

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An aluminum shortage tied to the global supply chain crunch has led to a new medical supply shortage: crutches.

Why it matters: The latest example of pandemic-spurred medical supply chain problems could become a much bigger problem in the next couple of months which are typically the busiest time of the year for orthopedic surgeries.

  • That's because many people try to squeeze their surgeries before the end of the year before their deductibles reset in January.
22 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.