New York: Growth of the US manufacturing sector slowed in October to just above the threshhold where expansion begins and contraction is left behind, the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday in its latest report.
ISM's PMI index stood at 50.8 percent in October compared with 51.6 percent in September and below the approximately 52 percent that analysts had forecast.
The decline placed the indicator very close to the 50-percent level, below which the manufacturing sector is said to be in a state of contraction.
With the ebb in October, the figures calculated by ISM from company surveys indicate that growth of the manufacturing sector is slowing down, though it has accumulated some 27 consecutive months of expansion.
"Comments from respondents are mixed, indicating positive relief from raw materials pricing and continuing strength in a few industries, but there is also more concern and caution about growth in this uncertain economy," Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said.
In October, the subindex that measures the evolution of prices in the sector fell 15 percentage points to 41, the first time it has dropped below the 50-percent mark since May 2009.
Also lower last month were the indicators for production from 51.2 percent to 50.1; employment from 53.8 percent to 53.5; exports from 53.5 percent to 50; and imports from 54.5 percent to 49.5.
On a more positive note, the New Orders Index grew in October to 52.4 percentage points from 49.6 in September.