NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A key U.S. manufacturing index rose from June's eight-month low with the fastest monthly gain since March, Markit Economics said Thursday.
The research firm's manufacturing production, backlog of work and new orders indexes each accelerated, while the new export orders and employment indexes turned from contraction to growth in the month, Markit said.
The headline purchasing managers' index climbed from 51.9 in June to 53.7 in July.
In a similar index, the Institute of Supply Management pegged the U.S. PMI at 55.4 with new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries, exports and imports all showing growth in the month.
Markit's report said the output index rose from 53.5 to 54.8, an index ISM pegged at 65.
With numbers more than 50 indicating growth and figures less than 50 indicating contraction, the Markit's employment index showed a change in direction, as the index went from 49.9 -- a slow contraction -- to 53, which indicates modest growth.
The index measuring work orders in the queue rose from 51.3 to 52.6, Markit said.
The critical new orders index climbed from 53.4 to 55.5, Markit said. ISM put the same index at 58.3, up from 51.9.
The headline manufacturing index for China, Britain and the eurozone also improved in July, Markit reported Thursday.