The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed in February, according to an industry report released on Thursday.
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The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 52.4 from 54.1 the month before. The reading was shy of expectations of 54.5, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
The unexpected slowing broke three straight months of quickening growth in the sector.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.