Markit Economics released its preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.S. on Monday. The U.S. preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.4 in March from 51.3 in February, missing expectations for an increase to 51.8.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in economic activity.
The rise was driven by a faster pace of expansion in output and new business.
"US factories continue to endure their worst spell for three and a half years. Headwinds include reduced spending by the struggling energy sector, the strength of the dollar, persistent weak global demand and growing uncertainty caused by the looming presidential election," Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson.