Following a slow start to the year, the Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor Economic Index (PMI) rose 2 points to 55 in the third quarter, its second consecutive gain. Demand for legal services was up 0.8% – the first quarterly increase seen so far this year. Despite the improvement, year-to-date demand is still down 0.9%.

Worked rates rose 3.2%, slightly better than the year-to-date performance. Expense growth is flattening, with both direct and overhead expenses up 2.1% for the quarter. Productivity saw its first quarterly gain since Q2 2011.

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