MAPI's quarterly business outlook survey showed an increase in the composite index from 66 to 67, the highest level since September 2011. "The increase in the composite index and the continued improvement in most individual indexes signal that there is momentum pushing manufacturing activity and that activity is expected to increase over the next three to six months," said Donald Norman, MAPI senior economist and survey coordinator. Meanwhile, "the sharp drop in the non-U.S. investment index likely reflects concerns about economic conditions in parts of the eurozone and Latin America, as well as the rising cost of operations in China," Norman said.

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