Manufacturing grows at fastest pace in 6 months

WASHINGTON — Manufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in six month, the latest sign that the U.S. economy gained momentum at the end of last year.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index rose to 53.9 from 52.7 in November. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Manufacturing has expanded for more than two years. Factories were one of the first areas of the economy to start growing after the recession officially ended in June 2009.

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