U.S. Manufacturing Data Shows Positive Signs

Manufacturing expanded in May at the fastest pace this year as American assembly-line workers responded to increased orders by cranking up production.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 55.4 from the prior month’s 54.9. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The release of the data, watched closely by financial markets as a gauge of the economy’s strength, was anything but smooth. Twice the Tempe, Arizona-based group had to amend its figures due to calculation errors.

Factories are helping spur a second-quarter economic rebound after a slowdown in inventory-building led to the first contraction in three years. Sustained demand from consumers, combined with corporate orders for machinery and equipment, are helping propel sales at companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)


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