At 51.4 in September, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was down from 52.0 in August and pointed to the weakest improvement in overall business conditions since June. The latest PMI reading marked seven years of continuous growth across the manufacturing sector. However, the headline index was below the average seen over this period (54.0) and remained close to the post-crisis low recorded in May (50.7).
Manufacturers indicated the slowest overall rise in new business intakes so far this year, which contributed to relatively subdued job hiring and ongoing efforts to reduce inventory levels. Meanwhile, factory gate charges were reduced slightly in September, despite another marginal increase in input costs at manufacturing firms.