The flash reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 53.8 in May from 54.1 in April. New orders growth dropped to the slowest pace since January 2014. Export sales have declined for two straight months, adding to evidence that the strong dollar has been holding down the economy. The flash estimate is typically based on approximately 85%-90% of total PMI survey responses each month, and any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions.
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