WASHINGTON - U.S. manufacturing grew at a healthy pace in December as factories stepped up hiring and received more orders. The expansion suggests solid growth at the end of the year.
The Institute for Supply Management, a
trade group of purchasing managers, says its index of manufacturing activity
slipped to 57 from 57.3 in November. But that's still the second-highest
reading in the past 2 1/2 years. And any reading above 50 signals growth.
A measure of new orders rose to the
highest level since April 2010. And a gauge of hiring increased to its highest
level since June 2011. Production and a measure of manufacturers' stockpiles