Survey: US August Factory Activity at 6-Plus Year High

U.S. factories expanded at a brisk pace in August, a likely sign of strength for the U.S. economy as new orders, production and employment all improved.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 58.8 percent last month from 56.3 percent in July. Anything above 50 signals that factory activity is increasing.

The measure now stands at its highest level since April 2011, pointing to solid economic growth.

Meanwhile, U.S. job growth slowed in August as employers added 156,000 jobs, though still enough to suggest that most businesses remain confident in an economy now in its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate ticked up from 4.3 percent to a still-low 4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. The government also revised down its estimate of job growth in June and July by a combined 41,000, leaving an average monthly gain this

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