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Manufacturing in Utah contracted slightly in October but still remained healthy, the Goss Institute of Economic Research said Thursday.

The index of manufacturing conditions in the state slipped to 60.1 from 61.7 in September. An index reading of above 50 indicates growth; 57 or higher is considered strong, according to economist Ernie Goss.

October was the third consecutive month that the index exceeded 60. A year ago, it stood at 56.8. The index measures new orders, production, sales, employment, inventories and other factors.

"Gains continued at a healthy pace for [Utah] durable goods producers. However, growth for nondurable goods manufacturers slowed for the month," Goss said.

A nondurable good is something used immediately by a consumer or which has a lifespan of three years or less. Food and clothing are examples.

Goss surveys manufacturing activity in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming each month. In October, Utah manufacturing outpaced Colorado, which advanced to 56.7 from 53.3 in September, and Wyoming, which fell to 57.6 from 64.

A collective index of manufacturing in the three states was 58.6, down from September's 61. The region continues to expand faster than the U.S., where the October reading was 51.7, Goss said.

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