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Markit Final Index of U.S. Manufacturing Rose to 54.0

The Markit Economics final index of U.S. manufacturing increased to 54.0 in December from 52.8 a month earlier, the London-based group said today.

A reading above 50 in the purchasing managers’ measure indicates expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 53.6, with estimates ranging from 51 to 54.5. The preliminary gauge for the month was 54.2.

Markit’s purchasers figure is based on replies from about 85 percent to 90 percent of those American manufacturers that respond to a poll of the more than 600 companies.

The Markit gauge of U.S. manufacturing debuted in May. The company surveys purchasing managers in more than 30 countries and regions, including Europe and China.

Elsewhere, U.K. manufacturing unexpectedly grew in December at the fastest pace in 15 months. A gauge of factory activity rose to 51.4 from a revised 49.2 in November, Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said in London today.

In the euro-area, manufacturing continued to shrink. Markit’s gauge eased to 46.1 last month from 46.2 in November. Indexes for Germany, France and Italy all remained below 50 last month.

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