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Markit Final January Index of U.S. Manufacturing Falls to 53.7

The Markit Economics final index of U.S. manufacturing decreased to 53.7 in January from 55 a month earlier, the London-based group said today.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 17 economists projected a decline to 53.8, with estimates ranging from 53 to 54.3. The preliminary reading for January was 53.7.

The Markit measure is based on replies from about 85 percent to 90 percent of companies in a poll of more than 600 American manufacturers.

Manufacturing growth across the globe was mixed last month. A Chinese manufacturing index dropped to a six-month low, adding to signs that government efforts to rein in excessive credit will slow growth in the economy. The Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.5, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Feb. 1 in Beijing.

In the U.K., factory activity grew at a slower pace than economists projected. A measure of factory activity declined to 56.7 last month from 57.2 in December, Markit Economics said in a report today in London. The median forecast of 32 economists was for a reading of 57.3.

Euro-area manufacturing, boosted by factories in Germany and France, expanded faster than initially estimated last month. A Markit index increased to 54 from 52.7 in December. The group’s initial estimate was 53.9 for January.

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