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Businesses in U.S. Expand at Fastest Pace in Two Decades

Businesses in the U.S. unexpectedly grew in February at the fastest pace in two decades, indicating manufacturing remains at the forefront of the recovery.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer rose to 71.2 this month, the highest level since July 1988, from 68.8 in January. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. The gauge, which was projected to fall, exceeded every estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.