Manufacturing Activity Highest Since April 2011


The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years last month, an industry report showed on Monday, while the pace of hiring in the sector also accelerated.

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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 57.3 in November - its best showing since April 2011 - from 56.4 the prior month.

November was the sixth consecutive month of quicker growth in the goods-producing sector since a contraction in May, with growth accelerating after the partial U.S. government shutdown that limited activity in October. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The forward-looking new orders index jumped to its highest level since April 2011, rising to 63.6 from 60.6. The employment index rose to 56.5 from 53.2 to reach the highest level for the subindex since April 2012. Production rose to 62.8 from 60.8.

The latest ISM report mirrored a separate index released on Monday by financial data firm Markit, which showed manufacturing rebounding to a 10-month high in November.

The two surveys use some different methodologies, including one related to seasonal adjustment.