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Two surveys show factories slowing down

July 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM   |   Comments

TEMPE, Ark., July 2 (UPI) -- Two closely watched measures of U.S. manufacturing showed the sector slowing and even contracting in June.

International research firm Markit's June survey showed its Purchasing Managers Index dropped from 54 in May to 52.5 in June. In Tempe, Ariz., the Institute of Supply Management said seven of 18 manufacturing sectors showed growth in June as its PMI slipped from 53.5 in May to 49.7 in June, a figure that indicates factory work is contracting.

For the surveys, both of which were released Monday, numbers above 50 show growth while levels below 50 show contraction.

ISM said the seven sectors showing expansion in the month included furniture, printing, fabricated metal products, miscellaneous manufacturing, electrical equipment, appliances, machinery and primary metals.

Both research teams showed slower activity in new orders and employment, with ISM's new order index falling into negative territory at 47.8. The Markit survey put new orders for June at 53.7, down from 54.6 in May.

Markit noted that it uses no data from ISM to create its report. Overall, Markit said the expansion in manufacturing was the weakest in 18 months.

ISM noted that its production index, at 51 in June, stayed positive for the 37th consecutive month while the diffuse PMI dropped into contraction after 34 months of growth.

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