02/04/2012 07:26 AST

Manufacturing probably picked up in the U.S. in March, showing it is weathering a slowdown in global growth, economists said before a report today.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 53 from 52.4 in February, according to a median estimate of 55 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Construction spending rose in February, other data may show.

“Manufacturers are benefiting from a variety of positive catalysts, including the need to replace a fleet of motor vehicles,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. “And we just haven’t got back to the previous peak in inventory that should benefit the sector and the national economy for some time.”

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SABIC 100.01 2,889,924
TAWUNIYA 92.21 115,275
ALINMA 17.73 19,061,890
EEC 17.21 992,484
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WALAA 26.57 54,241
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