The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at a slightly faster pace in April, according to the closely followed ISM index. The index climbed to 54.8% last month from 53.4% in March, the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday. Any reading over 50 indicates that more manufacturers are expanding instead of shrinking. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the index to dip to 53.3%. The new-orders index rose to 58.2% from 54.5% in March, while the employment index edged up to 57.3% from 56.1%.
Copyright © 2012 MarketWatch, Inc.