Manufacturing picks up steam


U.S. manufacturing activity in February hit its highest level in 19 months, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The Wall Street Journal reported the Institute’s index hit 61.4 in February, up from 60.8 the previous month and up from 33.3 in December 2008, when the economy was in recession. But raw material prices also are rising, which could lead to higher inflation, according to the report.