Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 46th consecutive month, according to the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management Report On Business.

The NMI registered 55.4% in October, one percentage point higher than September's reading of 54.4%. A reading above 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding while below 50% indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

“This indicates continued growth at a faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply ManagementNon-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 59.7%, which is 4.6 percentage points higher than the 55.1% reported in September, reflecting growth for the 51st consecutive month.”

The New Orders Index decreased by 2.8 percentage points to 56.8% and the Employment Index increased 3.5 percentage points to 56.2% indicating growth in employment for the 15th consecutive month.

10 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in October.

More details are on the ISM website

This report follows one from the U.S. Commerce Department earlier this week showing increases in shipments and new orders for manufactured goods.

Total shipments, up four of the last five months, increased 0.1% in September following a 0.2% August hike.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods (those designed to last at least three-years) in September, up two consecutive months, increased 0.4% from the month before. Computers and electronic products, up three of the last four months, led the increase, up 0.9% percent.

Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods, down three of the last four months, decreased 0.2% in September following a 0.6% August decrease. Petroleum and coal products, down two consecutive months, drove the decline, falling 1.3%.

Total new orders for manufactured goods in September, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased 1.7%, following 0.1% percent August decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2%.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in September, up five of the last six months, increased 3.8%, revised from the previously published 3.7% increase. This followed a 0.5% August increase.

Transportation equipment, also up five of the last six months, drove the increase, up 12.9%.

New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased 0.2% percent.