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US factory activity inches up in July: Markit

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Growth in the US manufacturing sector edged up in July after slowing for three months in a row, according to an industry report released on Friday.

[NEW YORK] Growth in the US manufacturing sector edged up in July after slowing for three months in a row, according to an industry report released on Friday.

Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.8 in July from a final June reading of 53.6, which was the slowest pace since October 2013. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the July figure would be 53.6.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Job creation, however, slowed in July with the index at 53.7, its weakest since April, compared with the final June reading of 55.5, Markit said.

"A modest upturn in the headline manufacturing PMI belies some more worrying undercurrents which point to potential weakness in coming months," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.

The index's flash output component rose to 55.4 from the final June reading of 53.9. The June final output level was the lowest level since January 2014, according to Markit data.

The manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers Index is compiled by information services company Markit.

REUTERS