Markit U.S. Factory Gauge Improves From Weakest Level Since 2013

The Markit Economics preliminary July index of U.S. manufacturing improved slightly from the weakest reading since October 2013.

The gauge rose to 53.8 from a June level of 53.6, the London-based group said Friday. A figure above 50 for the purchasing managers’ measure indicates expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for no change from a month earlier. Estimates ranged from 53 to 54.5.

While the group’s orders gauge rose to a three-month high of 55 in July from 54.7, its measure of factory employment grew at the slowest pace since April.

“Companies saw output and order book growth regain a little momentum at the start of the third quarter, but the overall pace of expansion was nevertheless the second-weakest seen since the government shutdown of 2013,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement. “Manufacturing has been stuck in a lower gear.”

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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE