Economy Grows for Second Straight Month

The economy expands for the second straight month, according to data released today by the Institute for Supply Management.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The economy continued to expand for the second straight month, according to data released today by the Institute for Supply Management.

The ISM October services index came in at 50.6, below both September's 50.9 and the median expectation of 51.5 from a poll of analysts by Thompson-Reuters. Still, any reading above 50 signals growth. So growth it is -- however anemic it may be.

The two months of growth come on the heels of 11 months of declines.

Of note is the fact that new orders, a gauge of future activity, grew faster in October. That measure rose to 55.6, from 54.2 in September.

The ISM index tracks more than 80% of the country's economic activity. In November 2008, the index dropped to a low of 37.4.

-- Written by Ty Wenger in New York

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A trade group says the U.S. service sector grew for a second straight month in October, but at a slower pace than in September, as the recovery creeps along for the country's hospitals, retailers, financial services companies and truckers.The Institute for Supply Management's service index dipped to 50.6 last month from 50.9. Any reading above 50 signals growth, but analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a 51.5.But new orders, an augur of future activity, grew faster in October. That measure rose to 55.6, from 54.2 in September.The ISM index tracks more than 80 percent of the country's economic activity.

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