Service sector expands at fastest pace in more than five years

Readings above 50 percent signal expansion. 

Hiring increased to 57, up from 53.2 in July, the 13th straight month of expansion and the highest level in six months. 

New orders were up to 60.5 from 57.7, the highest reading since early 2011, while sales picked up pace to a three-year high. 

In total, 16 of 18 service sector industries reported expansion with most respondents saying they are positive about business conditions and the direction of the economy.

A separate ADP National Employment report showed on Thursday that the service sector added 165,000 jobs last month, the majority of the 176,000 posted.