[NEW YORK] The pace of US manufacturing growth fell in March to its slowest in almost two years, pressured by slowing gains in new orders and stagnant employment, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 51.5 from 52.9 the month before. The reading was shy of expectations of 52.5, according to a Reuters poll of economists, and was the lowest reading since May 2013.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. This was the 28th-consecutive headline reading at or above 50.
The new orders index eased to 51.8 last month from 52.5 in February, and the employment index was at 50 from 51.4, both also at a 22-month low. The prices paid index rose to 39 from 35 on its fourth consecutive month below 40.