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U.S. Manufacturing Pegged At Three-Month Low

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 (UPI) — U.S. manufacturing dropped to a three-month low in January, sliding off December’s 11-month high, Markit economics said Monday.

With numbers above 50 indicating growth, Markit said the purchasing managers index for U.S. manufacturing slid from 55 in December to 53.7 in January,

Despite the lower January figure, Markit said the measure indicates “solid improvements in business conditions.”

The Institute of Supply Management on Monday posted its national PMI measure at 51.3, down from December’s level of 56.5.

The ISM new orders index fell substantially from 64.4 to 51.2 and their production index fell from 61.7 to 54.8.

Markit said their index for new orders remained positive, but slipped from 56.1 to 53.9. The new export orders index dropped from a slightly positive 51.4 to a negative 48.4. The index measuring the number of employees dropped slightly from 54 to 53.2.

“The ongoing expansion suggests that the goods producing sector is on course to contribute to another quarter of solid economic growth in the first quarter, and is also helping sustain a decent rate of job creation,” Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said in a statement.

“The survey is broadly consistent with 10,000 jobs being created per month in the manufacturing sector which, added to the signal from the flash services PMI, points to non-farm payroll growth in the region of 200,000 in January,” he said.

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