U.S. Manufacturing Picks Up

Manufacturing picked up in April after consumer spending surged the prior month, showing the U.S. economy is poised to lift off in the second quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 54.9, the strongest so far this year, from 53.7 in March, figures from the Tempe, Arizona, group showed today. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. Household purchases climbed in March by the most since August 2009, according to Commerce Department data.

Sales are increasing at automakers such as General Motors Co., while Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) is among those optimistic demand will pick up as the weather warms. The data bear out the view of Federal Reserve policy makers who yesterday looked beyond weak growth in the first quarter and projected the world’s largest economy would speed up.

Bloomberg

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