Investing.com - The rate of growth in the economy's manufacturing sector slowed in December, according to a report released on Thursday.
The Institute of Supply Management said its manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 54.1 in December, from 59.3 the previous month.
Economists had forecast a reading of 57.7.
A reading above 50 for the index indicates expansion in the sector, while a reading below 50 signals contraction.
“The manufacturing community continues to expand, but at much lower levels and at a sharp decline from November,” Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM business survey committee, said in the report.
The new orders index fell to 51.1 in December from 62.1 a month earlier.
The employment index decreased to 56.2 last month from the prior 58.4.
The prices paid index decreased to 54.9 in December, from the previous reading of 60.7. Analysts had forecast the reading to fall to 57.9.