US factory sector enjoys biggest output rise in 23 months

<p>The US factory sector has enjoyed its biggest rise in output since March 2011.</p>

The US factory sector enjoyed its sharpest output rise in 23 months in February, according to flash purchasing managers index (PMI) data.

Markit reports that the world's largest economy's manufacturing industry continued to grow this month, with its PMI reading coming in at 55.2, which is down from the 55.8 recorded the previous month but still maintains the industry is enjoying solid growth.

Manufacturers reported the sharpest rise in output since March 2011, while employment in the industry continued to climb, albeit at its weakest pace since November 2012.

However, there was a reduction in export orders, which declined for the first time in four months, but the slide was only modest.

Chief economist at Markit Chris Williamson commented that the data will help to allay fears the US is bound for a double-dip recession.

At 14:50 GMT, the Dow Jones advanced by 0.4 per cent to 13945.8 points, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq made 0.6 per cent gains to 3150.1 points.

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