US manufacturing activity contracts in December 2015

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Washington, Jan 5 (IANS) Economic activity of the US manufacturing sector in December contracted further, as the impact of a strong dollar continue to play out.

The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), fell to 48.2 in December, the lowest since June 2009, after registering 48.9 in November, Xinhua cited the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) as saying on Monday.

A reading above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below that level indicates contraction.

Contraction in new orders, employment and raw materials inventories accounted for the overall softness in December, said the ISM.

The ISM’s new-orders index rose 0.3 percentage point from the previous month to 49.8 in December, while the employment index dropped 3.2 percentage points to 48.1.

The dismal data show that the strong US dollar and a weak global economy continue constraining factory activities.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, only six reported growth which included printing, textile mills, paper products, miscellaneous manufacturing, chemical products, as well as food, beverage and tobacco products.

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