ISM non-manufacturing index hits 60.1 in October, vs. 58.5 estimate

Key Points
  • Economists polled by Reuters expected non-manufacturing economic activity to shrink slightly in October.
Everette Lange collects cleaned and pressed garments for a customer at Any Garment Cleaners in Aurora, Colorado.
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Non-manufacturing economic activity climbed higher in October, defying expectations of a contraction following a banner month of growth in September.

The Institute of Supply Management's survey of non-manufacturing firms from 17 industries, such as real estate, construction and mining, rose to 60.1 in October, 0.3 percentage points above the prior reading. 

October's survey result represents the highest reading since the index's debut in 2008. 

The measure was forecast to fall to 58.5 in October, according to a survey of economists from Thomson Reuters, after jumping 4.5 percentage points to 59.8 in September.

October's reading represents the 99th consecutive month of growth in the overall economy, and the 94th month of growth for the non-manufacturing sector itself. 

A reading above 50 for the index indicates expansion in the service sector, and a reading below 50 signals contraction. A reading above 48.9 over time is considered an indicator of overall economic expansion.