The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing increased to 56.7 in February from a final reading of 53.7 last month, the London-based group said today.
A figure greater than 50 for the purchasing managers’ measure indicates expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 53.6, with estimates ranging from 52.5 to 55.
The Markit measure is based on replies from 85 percent to 90 percent of American manufacturers who respond to a survey of more than 600 companies.
Other reports today showed slower factory activity in the 18-nation euro area and in China.
Markit’s euro-area manufacturing index unexpectedly fell to 53 this month from 54 in January. In China, a factory gauge declined to the lowest level in seven months. The measure from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit dropped to 48.3 from 49.5 a month earlier.
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