The U.S. manufacturing sector grew for a sixth straight month in January, to its strongest level since August 2004, as factories pumped up production while their customers restocked inventories, a private trade group says.
The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index read 58.4 in January, compared with 54.9 in December. December's figure was revised lower from 55.9. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a level of 55.5. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
New orders, a sign of future growth, jumped to their strongest level since 2004.
Manufacturing has helped lead the U.S. economic recovery as companies replace depleted stockpiles, and a weak dollar boosts exports to fast-growing countries in Asia and Latin America.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.