U.S. manufacturing companies grew at slower but still rapid pace in September, a survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index dropped to 56.6% last month from a three-month high of 59% in August. That was lower than the 58.5% forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch, however. Readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. The employment gauge fell 3.5 points to 54.6%. The ISM's new-orders index sank 6.7 point to 60%, but production rose a tick to 64.6%. Fifteen of the industries tracked by ISM reported growth last month while three recorded a decline.
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