Investing.com - Manufacturing activity in the U.S. eased more than expected in November, according to an industry report released on Friday, dampening optimism over the U.S. economy.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of manufacturing activity decreased to 58.2 last month from October’s reading of 58.7.
Analysts had forecast the index to drop slightly less to 58.4.
A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, below indicates contraction.
Despite the worse-than-expected reading, the ISM indicated that the survey suggested that the overall economy had grown for the 102nd consecutive month.
The new orders index rose to 64.0 in November from 63.4 a month earlier.
The employment index unexpectedly slipped to 59.7 last month from the prior 59.8, missing forecasts for a gain to 60.0.
The prices paid index fell to 65.5 in November, from the previous reading of 68.5. Economists had forecast the reading to decrease to just 67.0.
“Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with New Orders and Production leading gains, employment expanding at a slower rate, order backlogs stable and expanding, and export orders all continuing to grow in November,” the ISM noted.
The report also showed that supplier deliveries continued to slow (improving), but at slower rates while inventories continued to contract during the period.
Meanwhile, price increases continued, but at a slower rate.
“The Customers’ Inventories Index improved but remains at low levels,” the report concluded.
After the report, which was published simultaneously with construction spending for October, EUR/USD was trading at 1.1856 from around 1.1864 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.3464 from 1.3462 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 112.69 from 112.62 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 93.18, compared to 93.11 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets were trading lower after the open. The Dow 30 fell 38 points, or 0.16%, the S&P 500 slipped 2 points, or 0.09%, while the Nasdaq Composite traded down 23 points, or 0.33%.
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