Non-Manufacturing's Pace Also Picks Up

By John S. McClenahen Like the manufacturing sector, the non-manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy -- which includes business services, wholesale trade, retailing, entertainment and public administration -- picked up its pace of growth in November. The non-manufacturing business activity index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Tempe, Ariz., rose to 61.3% last month, 1.5 percentage points higher than October's 59.8%. It was the non-manufacturing index's best showing since July. New orders and employment, while continuing to increase, did so at a slower pace in November than in December, according to data ISM released on Dec. 3. An index figure above 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector generally is expanding; a figure below 50% signals contraction. The index is based on a survey of 370 purchasing and supply executives.

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