U.S manufacturing has expanded for more than two years. Factories were one of the first areas of the economy to start growing after the recession officially ended in June 2009.
The latest ISM survey showed that U.S. factories should start the year strongly. Factories hired last month at the fastest pace since June, the survey found. A measure of new orders rose, a good sign for future output. And exports also increased last month, though it's not clear how long that will last. Europe's economy is faltering amidst a debt crisis.