Manufacturing in the U.S. just accelerated to best year since 2004

By Katia Dmitrieva, for Bloomberg Markets

Jan 03, 2018

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U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in three months, as gains in orders and production capped the strongest year for factories since 2004, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

The survey-based measure of factory activity - the year’s second-highest behind September, when storm-related supply delays boosted the index - brings the 2017 average to 57.6, the best in 13 years. The latest gain extends a string of strong readings that’s been fueled by more domestic business investment, improving global economies and steady spending by American households.

The figures suggest manufacturing strength will persist into early 2018, even after the ISM’s semi-annual survey of purchasing managers published last month showed factories anticipate growth in capital spending to slow this year.

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