Business briefs 11/2/06

Thursday, November 2, 2006

GM, Toyota, Ford post big October sales gains

DETROIT -- Lower gas prices boosted truck sales in October, helping two of the domestic Big Three and Toyota Motor Corp. post sales gains compared with a dismal October last year. General Motors Corp. led all automakers with a 17.3 percent increase, fueled by a 33.2 percent rise in truck and sport utility vehicle sales. But GM car sales dropped 1.9 percent. On a percentage basis, GM outperformed Toyota Motor Corp., which reported a 9.2 percent sales increase. Ford Motor Co. also posted a big sales gain, but DaimlerChrysler AG posted weaker U.S. sales than in October 2005.

U.S. manufacturing sector growth slowing

WASHINGTON -- The nation's manufacturing sector expanded at its slowest clip in more than three years in October, a trade group said Wednesday. Economists said housing sector weakness is a big reason for the slowdown. The Institute for Supply Management, based in Tempe, Ariz., said its manufacturing index registered 51.2 in October, below September's reading of 52.9. It was the index's lowest level since June 2003 and reflected persistently high raw material prices and a decline in new orders, according to data provided by purchasing and supply executives.

-- From wire reports

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