WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level in more than a decade, as the sector was hurt by weakening demand and last year’s global economic slowdown.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Friday that its manufacturing index dropped to 47.2 in December, from 48.1 in November. Last month’s level was the lowest since June 2009, when the U.S. economy was at the tail end of the Great Recession.
Any reading below 50 signals contraction — and the index has been below that crucial level since August. The new orders, production and employment components of the index were all negative. But other components of the index — such as a jump in prices — suggest that the setback for manufacturing has bottomed out, said Tim Fiore, chair of ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee.
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