U.S. factories returned to growth in December after contracting the previous month, the Institute for Supply Management said. Its index of national factory activity rose to 50.7 up from 49.5 in November, narrowly beating the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll. The ISM index had fallen to a 40-month low in November. “What is interesting in this report is that you would think the negative headlines surrounding the fiscal cliff would have put pressure on manufacturing,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
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Manufacturing ends 2012 up despite “cliff” fear
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