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U.S. Factory Activity Hits Six-Year Low

Wall Street Journal (12/01/15) Anna Louie Sussman

U.S. factory activity in November fell to the lowest level since the end of the recession, as weak global demand and a strong dollar continued to buffet the manufacturing sector, according to the Institute for Supply Management. ISM’s gauge of manufacturing activity slipped from 50.1 in October to 48.6 in November, falling into contraction territory for the first time since the end of 2012 and marking the weakest reading since June 2009. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had forecast the index would increase to 50.5.

New orders dropped from 52.9 to 48.9. Hiring provided one of the report’s few bright spots. Factory employment rose to 51.3, after contracting in October.