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US manufacturing expands at best pace in nearly 3 years

31-08-2010
by 
in 

US factory activity expanded in October at the fastest pace in nearly 3 years, driven by overseas demand and healthy US auto sales.

US housing recovery is also lifting the furniture and wood products industry.

The ISM's manufacturing index rose to 56.4 from 56.2 in September. (A reading above 50 indicates growth).

Factories also expanded in Europe during October, though at a slightly slower pace, according to surveys in that region. Manufacturing indexes have all picked up in China, Japan, and South Korea.

The overseas strength is boosting demand for US factories.

And export orders jumped to its highest level in nearly a year and a half in October, the ISM report said.

US factory activity has now risen at an increasingly fast pace for five straight months, according to the ISM's index.

In October, a measure of new orders rose slightly. And a gauge of production fell but remained at a high level. Factories added jobs, though more slowly than in September.

"The outlook for manufacturing looks far more constructive now than it did over the past several months, in light of the improving global backdrop," said Michael Dolega, an economist at TD Economics.

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