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Manufacturing slowdown in the US continues

By: PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

May 27, 2013

A slowdown in US manufacturing activity is continuing, according to new figures.

The Markit Flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell for the second month running in May, dipping to 51.9 from April's 52.1, but still above the crucial 50-mark, below which suggests contraction.

Output growth in the US is now at a seven-month low, the figures also reveal.

However new order growth has picked up since April, reflecting gains in the domestic market as manufacturers reported renewed declines in new export orders, Markit reported.

Commenting on the data, Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said slow growth could be linked to a combination of fiscal drag hurting demand at home, "while at the same time many export markets remain in fragile states. The latter led to a renewed decline in export orders in May.

"There was also disappointing news in relation to job creation. With employment growing at the slowest rate since last October, the survey suggests that the Fed cannot risk tapering its stimulus any time soon."

The latest Markit data comes a day after it emerged that China's manufacturing sector was also feeling the pinch.