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Manufacturing Sees Fastest Growth Since 2006

Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index read 55.7 in October, compared with 52.6 in September; analysts had expected index to come in at 53.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A private measure of U.S. manufacturing activity grew in October at the fastest pace in more than three years, helped by government spending and higher demand from overseas. The better-than-expected reading is a positive signal for the fledgling economic recovery.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, says its manufacturing index read 55.7 last month, compared with 52.6 in September. It's the third straight reading above 50, which indicates growth.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to come in at 53.

Employment grew for the first time in 15 months, but the measure tracking new orders, a signal of future production, slipped to 58.5 from 60.8 in September.

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