The services sector, which includes wholesale trade, utilities and construction, expanded in September, according
to the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The report is issued by the Institute for Supply Management each month.
The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 50.9% in September, 2.5 percentage points higher than
the 48.4% registered in August, indicating growth in the non-manufacturing sector after 11 consecutive months of contraction.
The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 3.8 percentage points to 55.1%. This is the
second consecutive month this index has reflected growth since September 2008. The New Orders Index increased 4.3 percentage
points to 54.2%, and the Employment Index increased 0.8 percentage point to 44.3%. The Prices Index decreased 14.3 percentage
points to 48.8% in September, indicating a significant reversal and decrease in prices paid from August.
According to the NMI, five non-manufacturing industries reported growth in September: utilities, health care & social
assistance, retail trade, construction and wholesale trade. Even with the overall month-over-month growth reflected in the
report this month, respondents' comments vary by industry and remain mixed about business conditions and the overall economy.
This month, the ISM asked a special question with regard to the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act. Fifteen of the 18 non-manufacturing industries expect to derive some benefit from the program, and 14 non-manufacturing
industries responded that they expect their companies to see some benefit.