ISM Manufacturing Index Drops To Lowest Level Since Mid-2009

By MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. manufacturers turned in their worst performance in November since the current economic expansion that began in mid-2009, a survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 48.6% last month from 50.1% in October, marking the lowest level since June 2009. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the index to total 50.5%. Readings under 50% indicate more companies are contracting their business instand of expanding. The ISM's new-orders index sank 4 points to 48.9%, the lowest reading in more than three years. Exports were also weak again. Yet the employment gauge rose 3.7 points to 51.3%. In a separate report, the private research firm Markit said its final PMI manufacturing index finished at a 25-month low of 52.8% in November. Around the world, manufacturing indexes in China and Canada remained in negative territory, but surveys in Japan, the U.K. and the eurozone showed modest expansion.

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