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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Non-Manufacturing Sector Index Shows Growth for First Time in 11 Months

A widely watched index of non-manufacturing sectors in the U.S. -- this includes health care, utilities, construction, retail and wholesale -- rose in September compared with August.

According to the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks business activities in these sectors, the group's index hit 50.9 in September, up from 48.4 in August.

Any index number of 50 or higher indicates growth, as opposed to contraction. The September number is the first to register growth in 11 months.

The group's employment index rose slightly, but still came in at only 44.3, which reflects the growing national unemployment rate: The rate of job losses are slowing, even as job losses continue to increase. It's sort of like if you're in an airplane that's spiraling downward -- we're still headed down but at a slower rate.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  October 5, 2009; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, non-manufacturing index  
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