Economic Report: Manufacturing picks up steam in May, ISM survey says

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A worker installs parts in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class frame at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vance, Ala.

The numbers: The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its manufacturing index rose to a reading of 58.7%, up 1.4 percentage points from April and a two-month high.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 58.9%. Any reading above 50% indicates improving conditions.

What happened: Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in May, ISM said.

The new-orders index picked up, rising 2.5 points to 63.7%, and the production index gained 4.3 points to 61.5%. The employment index also rose, up 2.1 points to 56.3%.

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