US manufacturing bounces back

Activity in the US manufacturing sector hit its highest point in five months in October, according to a key index.

Markit’s flash purchasing-managers' index (PMI) for October came in at 54.0, an increase from the September reading of 53.1. (Figures above 50 represent expansion in the sector, while figures under 50 represent contraction).

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said, “October’s flash PMI survey brought welcome signs of stronger manufacturing growth at the start of the fourth quarter.

“The positive start to the fourth quarter suggests the economy may be picking up speed again after slowing in the third quarter, for which the PMI surveys pointed to annualised GDP growth of 2.2%.”

 “The faster growth of export sales is particularly good news and will help to alleviate fears that the US economy is being hurt by the stronger dollar and slower growth in China.

“However, worries about the dollar’s strength, export weakness and the recent downturn in the energy sector mean that business optimism and employment gains remain weaker than seen earlier in the year.”

The flash PMI, a preliminary index is made up of about 80%-85% of all responses that go into the final report. That is expected on November 2.