In contrast to the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy, the non-manufacturing sector grew at a slightly faster pace in February of this year than in January, according to data released Mar. 3 by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Tempe, Ariz.
ISM's business activity index for non-manufacturing was 59.8% in February, up six-tenths of a percentage point from 59.2% in January.
A figure above 50% on the ISM scale indicates the non-manufacturing sector of the economy is growing; a figure below 50% suggests that it is contracting.
New orders among mining companies, construction firms, financial firms and other non-manufacturers rose 1.1 percentage points in February. Employment gained 7.4 percentage points.