WASHINGTON – American factories expanded for the third straight month in November, another good sign for the American economy.
The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index came in at 53.2 last month, up from 51.9 in October and highest since June. Anything over 50 signals growth.
New orders and production grew faster in November. Hiring and export orders increased but more slowly than they did in October.
From October 2015 through February this year, American manufacturing retreated in the face of economic weakness overseas and a strong dollar, which makes U.S. exports more expensive. But factories began to recover as the dollar tumbled during the first half of the year.
The ISM manufacturing index signaled resumed growth in March and has topped 50 for eight of the last nine months.