Manufacturing Sector Sees Gains

Economy Added 157,000 Jobs In January

Manufacturing Sector Sees GainsManufacturing in the United States expanded in January at a rate that outpaced the expectations of economic experts. In a report released Friday, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index climbed to 53.1 in January, up from 50.2 in December. Last month's reading topped the highest estimate given by 86 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The survey's median prediction for the ISM index's reading was 50.7.

According to the ISM, the index's production gauge rose from 52.6 to 53.6. A measure of new orders placed shot up from 49.7 in December to 53.3 in January, the best reading since March. And, critically, the index's employment barometer rose to a seven-month high of 54.

The positive news on manufacturing came the same day that the U.S. Labor Department released a report saying that the economy added 157,000 jobs in January. Despite the payroll additions, the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8% to 7.9% and the January job gains were less than those experienced in December (196,000 added) and November (247,000 added).