U.S. factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years, an encouraging sign that manufacturing could lift economic growth and hiring in coming months.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday its manufacturing index rose in September to 56.2, the highest since April 2011. Thats up from 55.7 in August and the fourth consecutive increase in the index. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Manufacturers added jobs last month at the fastest pace in more than a year and ramped up production, the trade group said. They also received new orders at a healthy pace, though slower than in August.
U.S. factories are showing signs of picking up after slumping earlier this year. A modest recovery in housing and strong auto sales are pushing up demand for steel and other metals, auto parts, furniture and appliances.
Economists said the strong figures suggest that the annual growth rate in the July-September quarter could be healthier than current forecasts of about 2 percent. The index has averaged 55.8 in the past three months, up from 50.2 in the April-June quarter.
New investment fund aids Angola startups
The Angola Investment Fund is now accepting applications from companies in the energy, manufacturing, information technology and scientific research sectors, officials said Tuesday.
The first deadline for submissions is Oct. 18. Recipients must be in Angola.
Investments of $20,000 to $50,000 will be considered for all startup and small businesses. The maximum of up to $100,000 will be considered only for projects that create high-skill, high-wage jobs. Applicants cannot receive more than 50 percent of project costs from the fund, officials said.
The investment fund was created late last month with $1 million from the Major Moves fund, created with money received in 2006 when the state leased the Indiana Toll Road to a Spanish-Australian consortium.
For more information, call Kathy Armstrong at 260-316-3633 or email email@example.com.
Parkview pioneers new defibrillator
Parkview Heart Institute was among the first in the country to implant the new Boston Scientific S-ICD System, an implantable defibrillator. The procedure was Monday, Parkview officials said.
The device only recently was granted Food and Drug Administration approval.
The implant differs from existing implantable defibrillators because electrodes – or thin, insulated wires – are not used to attach it to the heart. As a result, the procedure doesnt require cardiologists to monitor its motion with an X-ray, which emits radiation.
The new device monitors heartbeat and delivers a shock if needed, Parkview officials said. The heart and blood vessels are not touched.
Home prices rise a robust 12.4%
U.S. home prices climbed 12.4 percent in August from a year ago, fueled by more buyers bidding on a limited supply of houses.
Real estate information provider CoreLogic says prices also increased 0.9 percent in August from July. But the gain was half the 1.8 percent increase in July from June.