US Manufacturing Expanded Slightly Last Month

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. manufacturing grew slowly last month after shrinking in November and hiring increased, a sign of modest economic momentum heading into the new year.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of manufacturing activity rose to 50.7 in December from 49.5 in the previous month. November's reading was the lowest reading since July 2009, one month after the recession ended.

A reading above 50 signals expansion.

A measure of employment rose to the highest level in three months, suggesting that factories are adding jobs.


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