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The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing rose to 51.3 in October from a final reading of 51.1 a month earlier, the London-based group said today.
A reading of 50 in the purchasing managers’ measure is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 51.5. Estimates ranged from 50.5 to 52.1.
Sustained auto sales and rising demand for homebuilder materials may be helping sustain manufacturing in the face of limited export demand as the global economy cools. Looming changes to U.S. fiscal policy continue to weigh on the industry as more than $600 billion in federal spending cuts and tax increases are scheduled to take effect in January unless Congress acts.
A gauge of euro-area manufacturing and services contracted more than economists forecast in October, suggesting the economy may struggle to regain strength.
A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in both industries in the 17-nation euro area decreased to 45.8, the lowest in more than three years, from 46.1 in September, Markit said.
Another survey today showed a Chinese manufacturing index climbed in in October. The preliminary reading was 49.1 for a China purchasing managers’ index by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit, compared with a final level of 47.9 last month.
The Markit gauge of U.S. manufacturing debuted in May. The company surveys purchasing managers in more than 30 countries and regions, including Europe and China.
Markit’s preliminary purchasers figure is based on replies from about 85 percent to 90 percent of those American manufacturers who respond to the poll of the more than 600 companies surveyed.
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