U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded from a three-month low in January to a nearly four-year peak in February, Markit Economics said Thursday.
With numbers above 50 indicating growth, Markit said the purchasing managers index for U.S. manufacturing in a flash estimate rose from 53.7 to 56.7.
A flash estimate is based on 85 percent of the data that go into the final estimate.
Markit said the measure for February indicates "a solid rebound ... following the slowdown recorded in the previous month."
Markit said growth in its index for new orders climbed from 53.9 to 58.8. The output index rose from 53.9 to 57.2. Hiring picked up speed with the expansion level at 54 after posting a reading of 53.2 in January.
The index measuring back orders moved from a contraction at 49.2 to expansion at 56.4.
"The flash manufacturing PMI provides the first indications that production has rebounded from the weather-related slowdown seen in January. Having slumped to a three-month low in January the PMI surged to its highest for almost four years in February, as companies reported business returning to normal after freezing temperatures and snow disrupted operations and supply chains," Chief Economist Chris Williamson said in a statement.
"The survey is broadly consistent with 10,000 jobs being created per month in the manufacturing sector which, added to the signal from the flash services PMI, points to non-farm payroll growth in the region of 200,000 in January," he said.
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