A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a 26-year low in November as new orders dropped for the twelfth consecutive month, a trade...
WASHINGTON — A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a 26-year low in November as new orders dropped for the twelfth consecutive month, a trade group said Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly index of manufacturing activity fell to 36.2 from October’s 38.9. The reading is worse than Wall Street economists’ expectations of 38.4, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. A figure below 50 indicates the sector is contracting.
The November reading is the lowest since May 1982, the ISM said, when the economy was in the midst of a painful recession.
The report “indicates a continuing rapid rate of contraction in manufacturing,” said Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM’s survey committee.
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The survey’s new orders index fell to 27.9 from 32.2, the report said, its lowest level since June 1980. The production index fell to 31.5 from 34.6, its third straight month of decline.
Manufacturing employers continue to cut jobs, the survey found. The employment index fell to 34.2 from 34.6, its fourth straight drop.
Manufacturers have been hit hard by the housing slump and financial crisis, which have led to cutbacks in business and consumer spending.
Deere & Co., which makes agriculture and construction machinery, has seen its profit fall amid the economic downturn. The Moline, Ill.-based company said last week that its fourth-quarter earnings fell 18 percent and it forecast that profit will drop by 7 percent in 2009.