U.S. Economy

     (CN) – Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded for the fourth straight month in June, with the outlook for new orders and production continuing to improve, the Institute for Supply Management reported Friday.
     The numbers for June were the strongest in 16 months, the organization said come at a time when the state of manufacturing in the U.S. is a major issue in the presidential campaign.
     The Institute said Friday its manufacturing index rose to 53.2 last month from 51.3 in May.
     The ISM index stayed below 50 from October through February, before shaking off a series of setbacks ranging from slowed oil production and weak global economic growth, beginning in March.
     Orders began to rebound as factories adapted to the financial headwinds and as the dollar’s appreciation became tempered and oil prices stopped plunging.
     In other economic news announced Friday, U.S. auto sales are expected to set a record in the first six months of this year.
     Kelley Blue Book reports that sales through June were expected to be up 2 percent over last year to 8.66 million.

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