Hydraulic valve manufacturer HydraForce Inc employees work in the firm's plant in Lincolnshire, Illinois, US. Photo: Reuters/Ann Saphir

The Institute for Supply Management’s widely-followed purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing came in at 59.1 (that’s the percentage of firms expanding), one of the highest eves in the past ten years.

That’s not a surprise: the cheapening of the US dollar has been a tailwind for US exports. As of November, US exports were up 7.8% year on year, just behind Japan’s stellar gain of 8.7%, and on par with growth in emerging Asia.

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