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A private measure of the nation’s manufacturing sector contracted for the 13th straight month in February

Excerpted from March 9, 2009 post Manufacturing Index Contracts for 13th Straight Month by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER – economics writer for the Associated Press

A private measure of the nation’s manufacturing sector contracted for the 13th straight month in February, but at a slower pace than expected. The reading suggested to some economists that the decline of the ailing factory sector could be bottoming out, though they expect a recovery is still far in the future. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Monday its manufacturing index actually rose to 35.8 from 35.6 in January. Analysts had expected a drop to 33.8, and a reading below 50 indicates the sector is shrinking.

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