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The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing businesses fell to 50.6 from 50.9 in September.  A Bloomberg survey suggested an expansion to 51.5; clearly the result is a sign that joblessness is likely to restrain consumer spending.  To date, the improvements in economic conditions in the US have been based on government assistance, which over the longer term is unsustainable.  The implication here is that the recovery will likely lose momentum as stimulus fades. 

Howard Penney

Managing Director