The overall economy grew for the 31st straight time, and the manufacturing sector expanded for the 29th time, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday.

According to the ISM’s monthly report on business, the ISM index climbed to 53.9 in December from 52.7 in November.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would climb to 53.2.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion. A reading of 50 shows the sector was unchanged in the month.

The prices paid index jumped to 47.5 from 45.0. The employment index was at 55.1, up from 51.8 the previous month. The production index increased to 59.9 from 56.6.

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