WASHINGTON, DC — US manufacturing activity has expanded for the 19th consecutive month, giving strength to the industrial sector heading into the new year.
According to a report from the Institute for Supply Management, its main index measuring industrial activity rose to 58.6 in December from 57.8 in November. A reading of 50 or above in the index means the manufacturing sector is expanding, while a figure below 50 represents a contraction, says the institute. The index has been above 50 since June of 2003.
The December results were apparently “driven by a significant increase in the new orders index,” said Norbert J. Ore, chairman of the institute’s survey committee.
Construction spending, however, declined in November by 0.4 per cent, the first drop in 10 months, reports the Associated Press.
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