Manufacturing activity slows in May

The latest preliminary reading on manufacturing activity from Markit Economics showed activity slowed in May, with the latest PMI coming in at 53.8.

Expectations were for the reading to come in at 54.5, up from 54.1 the prior month.

Thursday’s report signalled the slowest overall business conditions since the start of last year.

In its release, Markit said, Latest data indicated that overall new business growth softened for the second month running and was the weakest since January 2014. Moreover, new export sales decreased marginally in May, with a number of manufacturers noting hat the strong dollar had a negative influence on competitiveness in external markets. In terms of domestic demand, survey respondents noted that energy sector investment spending remained a key area of weakness in May.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit Economics said, “Manufacturers reported their weakest growth since the start of 2014 in May, with the survey results adding to fears that the strong dollar is weighing on the US economy and hitting corporate earnings. Although falling only modestly, export sales have now dipped for two straight months, something not seen for two years and a far cry from the solid export performance seen this time last year. Overall order books are consequently growing at the slowest rate seen since the start of last year.”

More to come …

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