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U.S. manufacturing activity cools; supply bottlenecks easing

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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing slowed in December amid a cooling in demand for goods, but supply constraints are starting to ease and a measure of prices paid for inputs by factories fell by the most in a decade. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) survey on Tuesday also suggested some improvement in labor supply, with a gauge of factory employment rising to an eight-month high. Still, Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee, noted that “shortages of critical lowest-tier materials, high commodity prices and difficulties in tran…

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