NEW YORK, May 23 (UPI) -- The pace of U.S. manufacturing growth in May slowed marginally from April, Markit Economics data released Tuesday indicates.
It was the second consecutive month in which the pace of growth slowed, the research firm said. Markit, however, noted that the critical new orders index for manufacturers rose in the month.
The figures released Thursday are considered a flash estimate and could be revised.
Markit said the diffuse manufacturing index, the Purchasing Managers Index, slipped from 52.1 to 51.9.
Markit's index for new orders rose from 51.5 to 52.8. The index for new export orders slipped, however, from 51.8 to 49.4.
The employment index dropped from 53.2 to 52.2.
Figures above 50 indicate growth, while figures below indicate a contraction.
"With the PMI hitting a seven-month low, the U.S. manufacturing economy continues to show signs of weakening. Growth has slowed sharply in recent months, down from an annualized pace of 4.9 percent in the first quarter to just 1 percent in May," Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said in a statement.
"The goods-producing sector is therefore likely to have provided only a modest boost to the U.S. economy in the second quarter, providing further worrying signs that growth remains lackluster," he said.