The headline business activity index, known as the Purchasing Managers Index, climbed to 54.6 in the month, up from an upwardly revised 52.9 for June, which was previously reported as 52.5.
Markit said manufacturing production rose in July for the fourth consecutive month. New orders "strengthened," the research firm said, noting, "Companies reported improved domestic and export demand."
Export orders rose at the fastest pace in two years with increases coming from Australia, China, the eurozone, Kenya, Mexico, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia and the United States, Markit said.
Swim Week Miami Beach 2014 [PHOTOS]