ISM manufacturing index hits 56 in January vs estimate of 55

An employee climbs into a Ford Motor Co. Super Duty Truck on the assembly line at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January, according to The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday, with the overall economy growing for the 92nd consecutive month.

The U.S. manufacturing index hit 56 in January, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from December. Economist expected the index to hit 55 for the month, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

"The PMI, New Orders, and Production Indexes all registered their highest levels since November 2014, and comments from the panel are generally positive regarding demand levels and business conditions," Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management, said in the report.

The report also said the New Orders Index, which includes companies in apparel, chemical products, paper products and more, registered at 60.4 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from December. The Employment Index registered at 56.1, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from December.