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US Manufacturing Grows at Fastest in 2 1/2 Years

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2 ½ years, as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management says its index of manufacturing activity rose in November to 57.3. That’s the up from 56.4 in October and the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

A measure of hiring rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. But the survey conflicts with measures of factory activity, making it difficult to discern clear trends.

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