The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in November at its strongest level since June, and new orders rose, according to an industry report released Thursday.
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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 52.7 from 50.8 the month before. The reading topped expectations of 51.5, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, while a number below 50 means contraction.
New orders gained to 56.7, its highest level since April, from 52.4. But the employment gauge lost some steam, falling to 51.8 from 53.5.