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U.S. manufacturing improved, analysts agree

Staff Writer |
Growth in the U.S. economy's manufacturing sector improved more than expected in December, according to the U.S. Institute for Supply Management.

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The ISM' headline manufacturing index rose to 54.7 from 53.2 the month before, beating expectations for a reading of 53.5.

The employment index came in at 53.1 from November's 52.3, while the new orders index rose to 60.2 from 53.

Meanwhile, the production index registered at 60.3 compared to 56 in November, and the prices paid index rose 11 percentage points to 65.5.

Markit's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 54.3 in December, up a touch from November's 54.1 and hitting a 21-month high.

The jump was mostly driven by a stronger rate of employment growth and inventory building, which more than offset slightly weaker increases in output and new orders.

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