US manufacturing activity shrinks for 15th straight month

by Canadian Shipper

US manufacturing activity shrank for the 15th straight month in October, the nation’s purchasing managers said Thursday, as the sector continued to bear the brunt of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy.

The National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) said its Purchasing Managers Index sank to 39.8 from 47.0 in September. A reading below 50 means activity is shrinking, while a reading above 50 means it’s expanding.

It was the 15th straight month of contraction for the sector. Wall Street economists had expected a much better reading of 44.0, according to

Separately, consumer spending fell at the fastest rate in more than 14 years in September, the Commerce Department said, as the effects of the terrorist attacks cracked what had been a pillar of strength for the otherwise struggling U.S. economy.

Consumer spending fell 1.8 percent in September to a $7.0 trillion annual rate after rising a revised 0.3 percent in August. It was the biggest drop since January 1987, when spending also fell 1.8 percent. Economists surveyed by expected spending to fall 1.0 percent. Personal income, meanwhile, was unchanged in September.

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