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Factory Output and Hiring Rose Slightly in December

Associated Press (01/03/13) Christopher S. Rugaber; Martin Crutsinger

The Institute for Supply Management reports an increase in its index of manufacturing activity from 49.5 in November to 50.7 in December, with readings above 50 indicating growth. Manufacturers may have increased hiring in December, with the trade group’s employment index rising from 48.4 in November to 52.7. However, there remain signs of weakness in the manufacturing sector, as the index of new orders held steady, production slowed, and manufacturers reduced stockpiles.