The overall economy grew for the seventh straight time after seven months of contraction, while the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth time after 18 months of contraction, the Institute for Supply Management reported ­yesterday.

The monthly report on business said the index dipped to 53.6 in November from 55.7 in October. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a drop to 55.0. 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.

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