U.S. Manufacturing Activity Gaining Momentum

U.S. manufacturing activity expanded steadily in November, the latest sign the economy is gathering steam.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday its purchasing managers index rose to 53.2 in November from 51.9 a month earlier. A reading above 50 indicates a sector expansion.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the index to rise to 52.5 last month.

The closely watched report also showed that production accelerated, new orders are picking up, and the industry continues to hire.

Write to Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com