The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed less than expected in November, while a gauge of prices paid fell to its lowest in over two years, according to an industry report released on Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 58.7 from the 59 measured the month before. While the reading technically beat expectations of 57.8,according to a Reuters poll of economists, the slowdown is the latest sign of a sputtering manufacturing sector.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, while readings below 50 point to contraction.
The gauge of prices paid fell to 44.5 from 53.5, which is the lowest level since July 2012 and the first reading below 50 since July 2013. Economists’ expectations were more along the lines of a drop to only 52, according to a Reuters poll.
The employment gauge slipped to 54.9 from 55.5, as the new orders index increased to 66 from 65.8, which is good news and the highest level since August.