US factory growth best in 10 months; bolsters outlook

By REUTERS
May 1, 2012 19:34

 
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NEW YORK - US manufacturing grew in April at the strongest rate in 10 months, easing concerns the economy had lost momentum at the start of the second quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management said on Tuesday its index of national factory activity rose to 54.8 from 53.4 in March. The figure bested expectations for a decline to 53.0 and came in above the top end of forecasts in a Reuters poll.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 indicates expansion.

"The view on the economy has swung from optimism to pessimism of late and this could bring us back to the middle," said Nick Bennenbroek, head of FX Strategy for North America at Wells Fargo. "ISM suggests there's no real reason to get too concerned about the path of the US economy at this point."

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