NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector tumbled in May, slackening more than expected to its slowest since September 2009, according to an industry report released Wednesday.
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The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 53.5 in May from 60.4 the month before. The reading missed economists' expectations for 57.7.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.
New orders fell to 51.0 from 61.7 in April, the lowest since June 2009. The index for prices paid fell to 76.5 from 85.5, below expectations of 82.0.
The data echoed earlier regional reports that showed softer manufacturing growth last month.