Markit Index of Manufacturing in U.S. Declines to 11-Month Low

The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing decreased to an 11-month low of 53.7 in December from a final reading of 54.8 a month earlier, the London-based group said today.

Figures above 50 for the purchasing managers’ measure indicate expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 17 economists was 55.2, with estimates ranging from 54 to 60.

The group’s gauge of factory employment declined to a five-month low of 52.8 in December, while a measure of orders was little changed.

“Growth of factory output and new orders has slowed well below the surging rates of expansion seen mid-year,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement. “Exports remain a key area of weakness, although demand from domestic customers is also growing much more slowly than earlier in the year.”

The Markit flash measure is based on replies from about 85 percent to 90 percent of companies in a poll of more than 600 American manufacturers.

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