NEW YORK — An increase in new orders helped drive the U.S. services sector to a faster-than-expected growth rate in October, but economists warned the data didn't foretell that economic growth would pick up soon.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index gauging the health of nonmanufacturing industries registered 55.8, up from 54.8 in September. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below 50 shows contraction.