Posted by: youngragingbull | June 3, 2013

U.S. manufacturing index falls into contraction, lowest since 2009

A measure of U.S. manufacturing fell in May to its lowest level since June 2009 as slumping overseas economies and weak business spending reduced new orders and production.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49 last month from 50.7 in April. That’s the lowest level in nearly four years and the first time the index has dipped below 50 since November. A reading under 50 indicates contraction.

A gauge of new orders fell to 48.8, the lowest in nearly a year. Production dropped to its lowest point since May 2009, and employment dipped.

Manufacturing has struggled this year as weak economies abroad have slowed U.S. exports. U.S. businesses have also reduced their pace of investment in areas such as equipment and computer software.

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