US Feb manufacturing PMI rises, stays in contraction zone
The latest readings showed that weak global growth continues to drag down manufacturing in the US while solid domestic demand led to improvement in some industrial areas. The data revealed that new orders and production picked up in February, but the employment index remained weak. The weakest readings were seen in the oil and gas industries stemming from low prices while business also weakened in the apparel, electronics, transportation equipment and printing sectors.
Meanwhile, according to a separate manufacturing index released by Markit, a final reading of its U.S. manufacturing sector PMI declined to a reading of 51.3 from 52.4 in January, representing the lowest level seen since October 2013.Economists’ expectations had called for a reading of 51.2 in a survey conducted by Bloomberg. Markit’s report also showed that new external orders recorded the sharpest decline since last April in February.
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