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October 5, 2010 > Manufacturing activity up for 14th straight month

Manufacturing activity up for 14th straight month

By Tali Arbel, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP), Oct 1 - U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in September for the 14th straight month, but at a slower rate than in the previous month, according to an industry trade group.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its manufacturing index read 54.4 in September, down from 56.3 in August. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Strong growth in the industrial sector has helped lift the country out of the recession. Last month's report was better than expected and triggered an explosive rally on Wall Street. That kicked off the best September for the stock market since 1939. The Dow Jones industrial average gained almost 8 percent for the month.

The latest report said that companies increased production in September and were willing to hire workers to fill vacant positions.

But it also noted that there's slower gains in new orders - a gauge of future business - and shrinking company backlogs. Each of those could hamper growth in the coming months.

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