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Factory activity growth hits nearly four-year high in February: Markit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated in February at its fastest pace in nearly four years due in part to growth in new orders, an industry report showed on Thursday. Financial data firm Markit said its "flash" or preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 56.7 in February, its highest since May 2010, compared to 53.7 in the final reading for January. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Service firms drive strong growth in German private sector

BERLIN (Reuters) - Stronger-than-expected growth among service providers drove a faster expansion in Germany's private sector in February, a survey showed, in a sign Europe's largest economy is gaining momentum and continues to drive a regional recovery. Markit's preliminary composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks activity in the manufacturing and services sectors and covers more than two-thirds of the economy, rose to 56.1 in February, up from January's 55.5.

UK households turn cheery on their financial outlook: survey

LONDON (Reuters) - British households are expecting their finances to improve over the next 12 months for the first time in at least five years, a survey showed on Wednesday. Markit's Household Finance Index for February, which gauges financial well-being, suggested the gloom cast over householders' finances since the severe recession of 2008-09 was now starting to lift.

Global factory growth steady in January: PMI

LONDON (Reuters) - Growth in global manufacturing activity was little changed last month from December as the pace of new orders remained near recent elevated levels, a report showed on Monday. JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 52.9 in January from 53.0, above the 50 mark that indicates growth for the 14th month. The December number was the highest since May 2011.

Japan January manufacturing PMI at 8-year high

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese manufacturing activity grew in January at the fastest pace in nearly eight years as new orders for goods expanded at a record rate, a sign of robust domestic demand before an increase in the sales tax in April. The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 56.6 in January from 55.2 in December.

US manufacturing growth slows in Jan - Markit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in January for the first time in three months, hobbled by new orders, though a recent trend of stronger growth appeared to be intact, an industry report showed on Thursday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dipped to 53.7 from December's reading of 55.0. Economists polled by Reuters expected no change.

Euro zone factories end 2013 on a high, but France a worry: PMIs

LONDON (Reuters) - Euro zone manufacturing grew at the fastest rate since mid-2011 in December on brisk business in Germany and Italy, setting the stage for a solid start to the year after a tumultuous 2013, a survey showed on Thursday. Markit's Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 52.7 in December from November's 51.6, confirming an early estimate and marking its best reading in 31 months. Readings above 50 indicate growth in activity.

U.S. private sector maintains growth pace in December: Markit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private-sector activity continued to expand in December as service-sector growth picked up and hiring increased, an industry report showed on Wednesday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) - a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes - was 56.2 this month, unchanged from November. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Eurozone business activity rises but France lags: PMI data

Business activity in the 17-nation eurozone ticked up in December, but the recovery is uneven and weak French data of particular concern, a key survey showed on Monday. Markit Economics' said its Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December rose to 52.1 from 51.7 in November. "The rise in the PMI after two successive monthly falls is a big relief and puts the recovery back on track," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

Loonie rises amid positive European data, greenback mixed ahead of Fed meeting

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was higher Monday as commodity prices advanced amid strong U.S. and European factory data. The loonie rose 0.18 of a cent to 94.56 cents US with the greenback mixed against other currencies ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting Wednesday when markets may find out if the central bank will start to taper its monthly US$85 billion of bond purchases.
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