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U.S. manufacturers signalled another moderate upturn in both production volumes and incoming new work during September, but the latest survey indicated a further loss of growth momentum from July's recent peak. Softer overall growth was attributed to generally subdued client demand, alongside a drop in new export sales for the first time in four months.
At the same time, manufacturers sought to streamline their inventories of finished goods, with the pace of stock depletion the fastest since November 2015. The latest survey also pointed to cautious staff hiring strategies, although the rate of job creation picked up from August's recent low.
The seasonally adjusted final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) registered 51.5 in September (flash: 51.4), down slightly from 52.0 in August, to signal the weakest improvement in overall business conditions since June. Slower rates of output and new order growth were the main factors weighing on the headline index, which more than offset a stronger contribution from the staff hiring component.
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