U.S. Factory Activity Gained Momentum in December

01/03/18 10:32 AM EST
By Josh Mitchell 

The U.S. factory sector gained momentum in December, with sales and production rising quickly, suggesting underlying strength in the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said Wednesday its closely watched purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 the prior month, hitting the highest level since September. A reading above 50 indicates activity -- as measured by factors like sales, production and prices -- is expanding across the factory sector. A number below 50 signals contraction.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 58 for December.

Measures of production and sales picked up, while employment growth slowed a bit.

Write to Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 03, 2018 10:32 ET (15:32 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.