The flash reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index rose slightly to 53.8 in July from a 20-month low of 53.6 in June. The rebound was led by stronger output and order book growth. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said forward looking indicators point to the manufacturing sector remaining "in a relatively slow-growth phase." The flash estimate is typically based on approximately 85%-90% of total PMI survey responses each month, and any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions.
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