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U.S. manufacturing grows at fastest rate in 2 ½ years

| Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 10:42 a.m.

Manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2 12 years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said on Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3, up from 56.4 in October. The reading is the highest since April 2011.

A reading above 50 signals growth.

One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months, and a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.

Manufacturing activity has expanded for six consecutive months, having it a rough patch in the spring.

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