U.S. factory sector contracts again in November: ISM

FILE PHOTO: Workers assemble a Ford truck at the new Louisville Ford truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/File Photo

(Reuters) – The U.S. economy’s manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth straight month in November as new order volumes slid back to around their lowest level since 2012, according to an industry report released on Monday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 48.1 from 48.3 the month before. The reading was below expectations of 49.2 from a Reuters poll of 57 economists.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The employment index slid to 46.6 from 47.7 a month earlier, also marking a fourth consecutive month of declining employment in the sector.

New orders dropped to 47.2 from 49.1, matching a reading from July that was the lowest since June 2012. The prices paid index rose to 46.7 from 45.5, compared to expectations of 47.0.

Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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