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MANUFACTURING HITS 10-YEAR HIGH

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American manufacturing surged in November to its strongest level in 10 years, said a widely followed survey of manufacturers released Thursday.

The survey by the National Association of Purchasing Managers marked the freshest evidence of U.S. economic vitality and came against a backdrop of other data that showed growth in American income, jobs and spending, despite the steady rise in interest rates through most of 1994.The purchasing group said its index of manufacturing growth rose to 61.2 percent in November from 59.7 percent in the previous month. It's the fifteenth consecutive month of growth and the highest reading of the index since February 1984.

A reading above 50 percent indicates the manufacturing economy is expanding, while a reading below 50 percent indicates a decline.

Factory production advanced to its highest level since December 1983, indicating that factories are buzzing to keep up with demand. The production index rose to 66.7 percent from 64.2 percent in October.