US manufacturing gauge edges off highest level since 2014

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US manufacturing growth cooled slightly last month, but remained close to its highest level since 2014, as factory sector prices and employment revved up.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index slipped to 57.2 in March from 57.7 in the month prior, leaving it well above the 50 mark that separates expansion and contraction.

Prices paid by manufacturers climbed at the swiftest rate since 2011, the latest sign of rebounding inflation across the US economy. Employment in the industry also ticked up sharply.

The data highlight the ongoing recovery for US factories that sustained a powerful blow at the start of last year from a steep fall in demand from the factory sector.

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