US manufacturing hit a 3-year low in December

Markit’s latest reading on US manufacturing activity in December fell slightly to 51.2 from a preliminary reading of 51.3, though this reading was better than 51.1 that was estimated.

This is, however, the lowest level for the reading since October 2012.

In a release, Markit said:

“A near-stagnation in new business volumes was the main factor weighing on the headline index in December. Measured overall, new order levels expanded only fractionally and at the weakest pace since September 2009. Anecdotal evidence cited softer underlying demand conditions, intense competition for new work and subdued business confidence among clients. Export sales were also close to stagnation in December, with manufacturers noting that the strong dollar continued to act as a drag on demand from abroad.”

At the top of the hour we’ll also get the latest reading on manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management, with its own reading set to indicate outright contraction in the sector with the index hitting a level of 49.0.

This would be an improvement from the 48.6 reading hit in November.

More to come …

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