Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector expanded in May for the third consecutive month.

This follows five consecutive months of contraction. The final Markit US Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.7, slightly up from 50.5 in the preliminary estimate but down from 50.8 in the previous month.

It is the lowest figure since September of 2009 as output fell for the first time in more than 6 and a half years and new work expanded at the slowest pace since December last year while job growth picked up and input cost inflation accelerated to a nine-month high.

Manufacturing PMI in the US averaged 53.77 from 2012 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 57.90 in August of 2014 and a record low of 50.70 in May of 2016.

The latest survey highlighted only a modest increase in new business intakes, with the pace of expansion easing to a five-month low.

Manufacturers cited a range of factors acting to dampen client spending, including weak capital investment across the energy sector, uncertainty related to the presidential election and generally subdued economic conditions.

Added to this, a marginal drop in export sales also weighed on overall new business growth in May.

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