A gauge of U.S. manufacturing rebounded sharply in January, topping estimates and signaling growth in the beleaguered sector for the first time since July.
The Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers' index, based on a survey of manufacturers, increased to 50.9 in January from an almost four-year low of 47.8, according to Monday's data. While just above the 50 level that signals expansion, the monthly advance was the largest since mid-2013. ISM last week revised data back to 2012.
The gain -- exceeding the median projection for 48.5 -- reflected sizable improvements in the orders and production components, while the employment gauge contracted at a slower pace. The new orders index jumped to an eight-month high of 52 and the production gauge surged 9.5 points, also the largest gain in more than six years.
The figures, along with the strongest reading for the ISM's export index since September 2018, suggest the worst may be behind for American factories. The gain also brings the group's measure more in line with IHS Markit's factory index, which, unlike the ISM figure, showed expansion in manufacturing for all of last year.
Source : Bloomberg