The overall economy grew for the 35th straight time, while the manufacturing sector expanded for the 33d time, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday.

According to the ISM’s monthly report on business, the ISM index climbed to 54.8 in April from 53.4 in March. Economists had predicted a 53.0 reading.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.

The closely watched prices paid index held at 61.0. The employment index was at 57.3, up from 56.1 the month before.

The production index increased to 61.0 from 58.3, the new orders index grew to 58.2 from 54.5, the supplier deliveries index gained to 49.2 from 48.0, the export orders index increased to 59.0 from 54.0 and the imports index remained at 53.5.

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