U.S. Manufacturing Growth Hits Six-Month High

The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in December, its best month since June, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.9 from 52.7 the month before. The reading topped expectations of 53.2, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

New orders, which economists consider a leading indicator of future activity in the sector, rose to 57.6 from 56.7. The employment component also jumped to 55.1 from 51.8.