Will haul crutches for food

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

One wee bit of good news from the Institute for Supply Management today: The service sector is shrinking slower than it was in December.

“The NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) registered 42.9 percent in January, 2.8 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 40.1 percent registered in December, indicating contraction in the non-manufacturing sector for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slightly slower rate,” reports ISM.

Even better news is for those tied to two sectors: Health Care & Social Assistance; and Finance & Insurance. These reported growth in January. Does the finance area’s good fortune have anything to do with the first slurps at the federal bailout trough? ISM doesn’t say.

And ISM’s top 10 for industries reporting contraction in January are, in order: Mining; Retail Trade; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Wholesale Trade; Accommodation & Food Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Other Services; Management of Companies & Support Services.