US Business Expands More Slowly

Posted October 31st, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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A measure of U.S. business expansion slowed slightly in October as new orders eased.

Monday's report from the Institute for Supply Management, a business research group, examined business activity in the Chicago area.

Some economists say the mix of services and manufacturing in this midwestern area is very similar to the overall makeup of the U.S. economy. That means experts can look at this data for clues about the overall national economy.

Investors will learn more about the economy on Wednesday when the chairman of the U.S. central bank, Ben Bernanke, meets with journalists and explains the latest economic projections by the bank's experts.

Friday, other government experts will publish the latest unemployment rate. Economists surveyed by news agencies predict it will stay at a relatively high 9.1 percent.

They expect the U.S. economy will see a net gain of about 90,000 jobs nationwide, mostly in the private sector. But experts say that will not be enough to cut the unemployment rate.