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Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third consecutive month, according to the purchasing managers index for manufacturing released today by the Institute for Supply Management. The index rose to a reading of 54.2 in February from 53.1 in January. Readings above 50 indicate growth; February’s reading was the highest since June 2011.
However, the employment portion of the index fell 1.4 percentage points to a reading of 52.6 from a reading of 54.0 in January.