ECONOMY

Hotels, restaurants and wholesalers expand as consumer spending lifts US economy

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Collett Elkhouria makes a chicken salad sandwich the Superior Restaurant in Cleveland. The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for February on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Collett Elkhouria makes a chicken salad sandwich the Superior Restaurant in Cleveland. The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for February on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. services firms' activity rose at a slightly faster rate in February, powered by hotels, restaurants and wholesalers.

The Institute for Supply Management says that its services index rose to 56.9 in February, up from January's reading of 56.7. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

The survey suggests further growth in employment and imports, as a strong hiring streak over the past year has bolstered consumer spending.