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Markit Economics released its preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.S. on Friday. The U.S. preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.8 in April from 51.5 in March, missing expectations for an increase to 52.0. It was the lowest level since September 2009.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in economic activity.
The decline was driven by a softer pace of expansion in output, new business and employment.
"US factories reported their worst month for just over six-and-a-half years in April, dashing hopes that first quarter weakness will prove temporary. Survey measures of output and order book backlogs are down to their lowest since the height of the global financial crisis, prompting employers to cut back on their hiring," Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said.
"With prior months' survey data pointing to annualized GDP growth of just 0.7% in the first quarter, the deteriorating performance of manufacturing suggests that growth could weaken closer towards stagnation in the second quarter," he added.
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