U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate than expected in December, preliminary data showed on Monday.
In a report, market research group Markit said that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index declined to a seasonally adjusted 54.4 this month from a final reading of 54.7 in November. Analysts had expected the index to inch up to 54.9 this month.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said that “The survey is yet another indication that the U.S. economy has shown greater than expected resilience to the headwinds of the uncertainty caused by the government shutdown and debt crisis, and will add to the likelihood of the Fed tapering its huge stimulus of USD85bn per month asset purchases sooner rather than later.”
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar remained lower against the euro, with EUR/USD adding 0.19% to trade at 1.3768.
Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 0.5% at the open, S&P 500 futures pointed to a rise of 0.5% and Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 0.5%.
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