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U.S. manufacturing PMI drops to lowest level since October 2012

Staff writer ▼ | February 23, 2016
February data highlighted a setback for the U.S. manufacturing sector, with growth momentum slipping back again after the slight rebound seen at the start of 2016.
U.S. manufacturing
Industry   Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI
The latest survey pointed to the weakest overall improvement in business conditions for just over three years. At 51.0 in February, down from 52.4 in January, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was also at its joint-lowest level since September 2009.

Softer rates of output, new business and employment growth all weighed on the headline index.

Manufacturing output growth slowed for the third time in the past four months during February. At the same time, new business volumes increased only marginally, and at one of the weakest rates seen over the past three years.

Manufacturers overwhelmingly linked the slowdown to softer underlying demand patterns in February, while only a small minority cited temporary weatherrelated disruptions.

There were reports that weaker business sentiment, alongside uncertainty about the general economic outlook, had encouraged clients to delay spending decisions during the latest survey period.

Meanwhile, the strong dollar and less favourable global economic conditions continued to act as a drag on export sales in February. Reflecting this, new work from abroad decreased at the most marked pace since April 2015.