Capping a late-year upswing, manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in six months in December but a European slump and rising oil prices posed threats to the U.S. economy in 2012.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity hit its highest level since June and came in above forecasts at 53.9, more evidence that the U.S. economy picked up steam in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a pretty decent report overall,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. “We’re not roaring ahead here, but it’s also not collapsing. That’s consistent with our overall view of the economy in 2012.”
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