Demand for services rose 0.7 percent in August from the previous month as electricity consumption increased due to hotter weather than usual, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

The tertiary index, which gauges money spent in the service sector, rose to a seasonally adjusted 109.0 against a base of 100 in 2000, marking the first increase in three months.

The index also increased 1.6 percent from the prior year for the 36th consecutive year-on-year increase.

Demand for electrical service increased 7.1 percent as more people used their air conditioners due to higher than normal temperatures, a METI spokesman said.

The index for information services rose 6.6 percent from the previous month thanks to strong demand from financial institutions, he said.

Meanwhile, the index for restaurants and hotels was up 0.9 percent as more people stayed at hotels and wanted to eat outside, he said.

“We cannot jump to any conclusions about the economic trend from a single result, but we can say that the index for the service sector is on a upward trend,” he said.

The tertiary index is one of the most closely watched because it is connected to wages and consumer confidence.

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