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New Gauge Shows U.S. Factory Growth Slowing

Wall Street Journal Online (05/24/12) Kathleen Madigan

A new “flash” purchasing managers’ index (PMI) compiled by data provider Markit reportedly dropped to 53.9 in May from 56.0 in April, meaning the index is the lowest since February. Markit has been reporting PMIs for other national economies, but it has recently added the U.S. In May, the PMI subindexes covering output, orders, and employment remained above 50, meaning expansion, but they slowed.

Markit says the U.S. flash index has results from 85% to 90% of its full survey panel of over 600 companies. U.S. economy-watchers have so far paid more attention to the PMIs reported by the Institute for Supply Management.