Manufacturing index hits two-year high

Economic StockThe Associated Press

WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturers expanded in August at the fastest pace in more than two years, a survey showed Tuesday, adding to growing evidence that the global economy may be starting to pick up.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index edged up to 55.7 percent from 55.4 percent in July, marking the highest reading since June 2011.

The ISM’s new-orders gauge posted the biggest increase, surging to 63.2 percent from 58.3 percent. That’s the highest level since April 2011.The production index, however, slipped 2.6 percentage points to a still-high 62.4 percent.