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Manufacturing in U.S. Accelerates More Than Forecast

Manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than two years, sparked by surges in orders and production that signal companies are growing more optimistic about the U.S. economy’s prospects.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index jumped to 55.4, exceeding the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from 50.9 in the prior month, according to the Tempe, Arizona-based group. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. A separate report showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to the lowest in five years.