US manufacturing growth 'at five-month high'

US factory Better economic news may hasten the Federal Reserve's winding down of its stimulus programme

Activity in the US manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace for five months in August, with a pick-up in new orders, a survey has indicated.

Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 53.9, up from 53.7 in July and its best showing since March. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

The index for new orders rose to 56.5, a seven-month high, from 55.5 in July

Analysts said the figures pointed to stronger US economic growth for the rest of the year.

"Hopefully the faster growth of new orders seen during August will translate into increasingly strong production gains in coming months, and also boost hiring," said Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson.

The Markit survey is a preliminary report, based on replies from about 85% of the US manufacturers surveyed. A final reading will be released on 3 September.

The positive news comes as economists and investors speculate as to when the US Federal Reserve might begin winding down its huge monetary stimulus programme.

Increasingly, investors expect the Fed to start slowing its monthly bond purchases this year, with many betting the central bank could begin the process as soon as September.

Also on Thursday, separate PMI surveys showed signs of economic improvements in the eurozone and China.

Markit's August index for the eurozone showed that the pace of growth hit a 26-month high, led by stronger German exports and an expansion of the services sector across most of the region.

And in China, HSBC bank's PMI index showed a sharp rebound in the country's manufacturing sector in August.

More on This Story

US Economy

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

From BBC Capital


  • A robot which is due to compete in the 2014 RoboCupClick Watch

    Why robots from 45 countries are playing football in Brazil, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.