United States: The ISM manufacturing index below expectations in January

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity deepened in January, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) monthly survey released on Wednesday showed.

The ISM manufacturing index fell to 47.4 last month, the lowest since May 2020, from 48.4 in December. Economists polled by Reuters expected it to average 48.0.

This is its third consecutive month of contraction and a reading below 48.7 is seen as consistent with a recession in the wider economy.

Taken aback last year by accelerating inflation, the Federal Reserve carried out its fastest monetary tightening since the 1980s, hurting demand for goods, mainly purchased on credit. The appreciation of the dollar and the weakening of global demand are also impacting the sector.

The new orders sub-index also fell to 42.5 from 45.1. That of employment fell slightly to 50.6, against 50.8 in December, and that of paid prices rose to 44.5 after 39.4.

(Lucia Mutikani, French version Laetitia Volga, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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