US manufacturing slows again

31-08-2010

 

Growth in the US manufacturing sector slowed in July to the second-weakest level since the country emerged from recession, according to a recent survey.

The Markit flash US manufacturing purchasing managers index dropped to 51.8 from 52.5 in June, which is the worst level since December 2010 and second-worst since late 2009. Any readings above 50 indicate an improvement from the prior month.

The flash index is based on 85 per cent to 90 per cent of typical monthly responses and released about a week ahead of the final data.

Though the index isn’t as widely followed as the similarly constructed Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing gauge, the data nonetheless help confirm the slowdown which the ISM results have been showing.

The output index dropped to 52.2 from 53.4 in June, and the new-orders index fell to 51.9 from 53.7, with the new-export orders staying in contraction territory at 48.2 from 48.3.

One small bit of good news came from employment, which edged up to a 52.9 from a 52.8 reading.

“The US manufacturing sector is clearly struggling under the pressure from falling exports, which showed the first back-to-back monthly decline for almost three years in July,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in a statement.

Much of the export weakness stems from the euro-zone debt crisis and slowing activity in China.

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