The U.S. factory sector gained momentum in December, with sales and production rising quickly, suggesting underlying strength in the economy.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said Wednesday its closely watched purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 the prior month, hitting the highest level since September. A reading above 50 indicates activity — as measured by factors like sales, production and prices — is expanding across the factory sector. A number below 50 signals contraction.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 58 for December.
Measures of production and sales picked up, while employment growth slowed a bit.
Source: Dow Jones