The overall economy grew for the twenty-eighth straight time, while the manufacturing sector expanded for the twenty-sixth time, the Institute for Supply Management reported Monday.

According to the ISM’s monthly report on business, the ISM index climbed to 51.6 in September from 50.6 in August.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would slip to 50.5.

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.

The closely watched prices paid index rose to 56.0 from 55.5. The employment index was at 53.8, up from 51.8 in August.

The production index increased to 51.2 from 48.6, the new orders index held at 49.6; the supplier deliveries index gained to 51.4 from 50.6; the export orders index increased to 53.5 from 50.5; and the imports index slid to 54.5 from 55.5.

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