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Manufacturing strong in September

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Staging a major rally and rebounding from weakness the month before, the manufacturing sector expanded sharply faster than expected during September, even though higher raw material prices continued to surge, the nation's purchasing managers reported.

The Institute for Supply Management said its September Manufacturing Index raced ahead to its highest level in more than a year, jumping to 59.4 percent, up from 53.6 percent in August

The September surge was driven by strong gains in the indices for new orders and production, both of which climbed more than 7 percent. In more good news, customers' inventories were down 2 percent, suggesting their need to re-order; and order backlogs grew 4.5 percent.

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