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U.S. manufacturing index climbs more than expected in November

Staff Writer |
The Institute for Supply Management released a report showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of manufacturing activity.

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The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 53.2 in November from 51.9 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 52.3.

With the bigger than expected increase, the index reached its highest level since a matching reading in June. The index has not been higher since early 2015.

Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said, "Comments from the panel cite increasing demand, some tightness in the labor market and plans to reduce inventory by the end of the year."

The bigger than expected increase by the manufacturing index was partly due to notably faster production growth, as the production index jumped to 56.0 in November from 54.6 in October.

The new orders index also crept up to 53.0 in November from 52.1 in October, indicating a modest acceleration in the pace of growth in new orders.

The ISM also said the supplier deliveries index shot up 55.7 in November from 52.2 in October, while the backlog of orders index surged up to 49.0 from 45.5.

On the other hand, the employment index edged down to 52.3 in November from 52.9 in October, suggesting a slight deceleration in the pace of job growth in the manufacturing sector.

The report also said prices index held at 54.5, although the reading above 50 points to the ninth consecutive month of higher raw materials prices.

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