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US Manufacturing Industry Accelerates Further in April: Markit

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US Manufacturing Industry Accelerates Further in April: Markit

The US manufacturing industry continued to improve in April, as output and new orders rose at a sharper pace and employment increased for the tenth consecutive month.

Markit Group’s gauge of US manufacturing activity eased from 55.5 to 55.4 in April, after easing 1.6 percentage points the previous month. Economists forecast a reading of 56. A reading above 50 is a general sign of expansion in manufacturing activity, whereas a reading below that level signifies contraction.

Factory production rose at the sharpest pace in more than three years, driven largely by domestic demand. Rising levels of new work boosted business confidence and contributed to as solid upturn in employment, Markit data showed. Although export demand remained subdued, new orders from abroad increased at the fastest pace since August 2013.

“Manufacturers reported a solid start to the second quarter, with output growing at its fastest pace for over three years,” wrote Markit chief economist Chris Williamson in a press release. “With manufacturing acting as a good bellwether of the rest of the economy, the survey bodes well for further robust economic growth in the second quarter.”

The PMI data suggest the US labour market improved further in April. The domestic-led upturn created as many as 15,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector this month, Williamson added. Private sector employers added 192,000 payrolls in March, official data from the Labor Department confirmed.

The sharp acceleration of new work suggests the goods-producing sectors will continue to support the economy’s broad recovery. New orders rose at one of the sharpest rates since 2008-09, a sign job creation will continue to be supported in the coming months.

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