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ISM non-manufacturing index hits 57.1 in September, vs. 53 estimate

Economic activity in the services sector grew in September for the 80th consecutive month, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday.

The institute's non-manufacturing index jumped to 57.1 in September from 51.4 a month earlier. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

Economist polled by Reuters expected the ISM non-manufacturing index to hit 53.

These numbers represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a faster rate. (Click here for market reaction.)

Business activity also increased in September to 60.3 percent, 8.5 percentage points higher than August. And the employment index increased by 6.5 percentage points than the prior month.

A separate report showed U.S. factory orders rose just 0.2 percent in August, with the investment category up for the third month.