American factory activity slowed in September despite a rise in output as orders fell off and employment dropped according to an industry report released today.
The preliminary purchasing managers’ survey from the London based financial information firm Markit slipped to 52.8 this month from 53.1 in August. Economists had predicted a gain to 54.0. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
Output improved to 55.3, a six month high, but new orders sank to 52.7 from 55.7 and export orders fell into contraction at 49.1 from 52.0 the prior month. Employers continued to restrain hiring, with the employment sub-index dropping to 51.4 from 53.1 in August. It was the weakest score in three months.
Output prices rose slightly to 51.4 from 51.1 while input prices dropped to 55.8 from 56.2.
The survey is composed of over 600 manufactures from across the United States and the results are based on about an 85 percent answer rate.
A similar survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed the manufacturing sector in August to be growing with the index at 55.7, its quickest pace in more than two years. The September ISM manufacturing number will be released on October 1st and a slight decline to 55.5 is forecast by economists. The employment index in the August survey decreased to 53.3 from 54.4.
Chief Market Strategist