Manufacturing Sector Growth Picks Up in June

The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up for the first time in four months in June, a sign of optimism for the sputtering economy, according to an industry report released on Friday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 55.3 from 53.5 the month before. The reading topped expectations for 51.8, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, while a number below 50 means contraction.

The prices paid index fell to its lowest since August 2010 at 68.0 from 76.5. New orders rose to 51.6 from 51.0 in May.