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ISM Manufacturing Index Has Best Showing Since 2004

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2/1/2011 3:30:00 PM

U.S. manufacturing activity rose in January at the fastest pace in almost seven years, the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday.

ISM’s monthly factory index rose to a 60.8 reading, from 58.5 in December. Figures over 50 indicate expansion.

It was the best showing since the index registered a 61.4 reading in May 2004, ISM said. It was the index’s sixth straight month of growth.

The reading topped economists’ forecast of a decline to a 58 reading, Bloomberg reported.

New orders jumped 5.8 points to 67.8, while exports rose 7.5 points to 62. Imports rose 4.5 to a 55 reading.

ISM’s factory index measures manufacturing components of the economy.

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