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US factories closed out 2017 with a boom

US manufacturers expanded at a faster pace in December.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 59.7 last month from 58.2 in November. Any reading above 50 indicates greater factory activity. Manufacturing has been expanding for the past 16 months.

U.S. manufacturers experienced a solid global economy and a decline in the dollar’s value, which helps to make exports more competitive abroad. In addition, the lower corporate tax rate signed into law brings new hope to manufacturers though the actual effects remain to be seen.

The ISM, a trade association of purchasing managers, said 16 of 18 manufacturing industries expanded in December. Among those sectors were machinery, computer and electronics and chemicals.

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