U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to the fastest pace in more than two years in January, a sign of growing momentum for the economy.
The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), registered 56 in January, an increase of 1.5 points from previous month’s reading of 54.5, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in a report on Wednesday.
A reading of PMI above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below that level indicates contraction.
The new orders index edged up 0.1 point from the previous month to 60.4; production index rose 2 points to 61.4; and employment index surged 3.3 points to 56.1.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, twelve were reporting growth in January, while five industries reported contraction.
According to the ISM, businesses surveyed were upbeat about the first quarter of this year, saying that demand and sales were steady at the start of this year. Enditem