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US manufacturing sector growth hits 6-month high in October, IHS Markit says

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in October to its highest level in six months, beating market expectations, latest survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The IHS Markit flash U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a seasonally adjusted reading of 51.5 this month from 51.1 in September. An index reading above 50.0 indicates an overall monthly increase.

The consensus estimate from economists polled by Econoday was for an index reading of 50.5.

IHS Markit said the flash manufacturing output index also reached a six-month high in October, rising to 52.7 from 51.8. The flash services business activity index increased to 51.0, the highest reading in three months, from 50.9 in September.

The flash U.S. composite output index, a weighted average of manufacturing output and services business activity data, rose to 51.2 from 51.0, signaling the sharpest increase in business activity in the private sector since July.

On the labor market, IHS Markit reported that employment numbers fell at the steepest rate since December 2009, amid cautious hiring strategies among companies and lack of new work.

New work grew at the slowest pace since October 2009 due to stagnating order books in the services sector, IHS Markit said.