Alan Diaz, Associated Press
In this June 12, 2015 photo, Dayamyra Perez Fernandez prepares a lunch to go for a customer at a local grocery store in the Little Havana area of Miami. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for July on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015.

WASHINGTON — A private survey shows that business at U.S. services firms surged in July.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 60.3 last month, highest since the index was created in 2008 and up from 56 in June. Any reading above 50 shows growth in the services sector.

Its measure of business activity for services firms rose to 64.9 from 61.5 in June. New orders and employment were also up strongly.

The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ 90 percent of workers, including retail, construction, health care and financial services companies