UPDATE: Markit’s preliminary January reading for U.S. PMI is out.

Click here to refresh for updates >

The headline number came in well above expectations, rising to 56.1 from last month’s reading of 54.0.

Economists expected the index to fall to 53.0.

Today’s release marks the strongest expansion since March 2011, according to Markit.

The gains were driven primarily by a robust expansion in both output and new orders.

Below is a table breaking down the sub-components:

Markit flash US pmi subcomponents

Photo: Markit

Below is Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson’s take:

“The U.S. manufacturing sector started 2013 on a strong footing, reporting the fastest pace of expansion for nearly two years. Output and new orders both grew at sharply faster rates, encouraging increasing numbers of manufacturers to take on extra staff.

“These survey data are consistent with production growing at a quarterly rate of around 1.5% at the start of the year and manufacturing payrolls rising by approximately 15,000 per month.

“Prospects also look good for the upturn to be sustained in coming months, meaning both growth of GDP and non-farm payroll are likely to accelerate in the first quarter. Global economic growth is reviving, meaning companies are seeing stronger demand from emerging markets such as China and India as well as parts of Europe, notably Germany.

However, it is the domestic market that is clearly providing the main impetus to the upturn, linked to improved confidence in the future given more aggressive stimulus from the Fed and reduced fears about the fiscal cliff.”

Click here for the full release >


ORIGINAL: Minutes away from Markit’s preliminary January reading for U.S. PMI, due out at 8:58 AM ET.

Economists expect the index to fall to 53.0 from last month’s reading fo 54.0, indicating a slower pace of expansion.

Any reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing.

We will have the release here at 8:58 AM ET. Click here to refresh for updates >

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