Midwest factory activity hits a 22-1/2-year high

Source: Reuters

By Lucia Mutikani

Feb 10, 2011

Factory activity in the U.S. Midwest hit a 22-1/2-year high in January as orders surged and employment prospects brightened, providing a fresh signal that the economy would stay on a solid growth path this year.

"The factory sector news is an important positive omen for the broader economy, because increased production will yield significant income generation, which in turn will fuel stronger household consumption," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its business barometer rose to 68.8 in January, the highest level since July 1988, from 66.8 in December.

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