The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in November to its strongest level since June, and new orders rose, according to an industry report released Thursday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 52.7 from 50.8 the month before. The reading topped expectations of 51.5, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, while a number below 50 means contraction.
New orders gained to 56.7, its highest level since April, from 52.4. But the employment gauge lost some steam, falling to 51.8 from 53.5.