A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March, driven by strong growth in new orders, the clearest sign yet that a much anticipated economic boom was probably underway. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Thursday its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 64.7 last month from 60.8 in February. That was the highest level since December 1983. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9% of the U.S. economy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index rising to 61.3 in March. The year-long COVID-19 pandemic has boosted demand for goods. Economic growth is expected take off this year, juiced up by the White House‚Äôs massive $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package and the reopening of nonessential businesses as more Americans are vaccinated against the coronavirus. The […]