The U.S. factory sector gained momentum in December, with sales and production rising quickly, suggesting underlying strength in the economy.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said Wednesday its closely watched purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 the prior month, hitting the highest level since September. A reading above 50 indicates activity -- as measured by factors like sales, production and prices -- is expanding across the factory sector. A number below 50 signals contraction.
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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 58 for December.
Measures of production and sales picked up, while employment growth slowed a bit.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 03, 2018 10:32 ET (15:32 GMT)