U.S. manufacturing posts slowest growth since 2020



U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in October, industry survey data showed Tuesday, remaining at its weakest level since mid-2020 on falling orders and as prices drop for the first time in more than two years.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Tuesday that its manufacturing index dropped 0.7 points to 50.2 percent, barely higher than analysts expected and a touch above the 50-percent threshold indicating expansion.

"The U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand, but at the lowest rate since the coronavirus pandemic recovery began," ISM manufacturing survey chair Timothy Fiore said in a statement.

With new orders softening over the past five months, the October results show companies preparing for lower demand in the future, he added.

Some respondents said the growing threat of a recession was making many customers slow orders "substantially," according to the report.

Recession jitters among manufacturers "won't disappear any time soon," warned economist Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics.

"Looking ahead, manufacturing will endure more pain as demand weakens at home and abroad while prices stay high and interest rates remain fairly elevated," he added in an analysis.

Inflation will not "fall back to pre-COVID levels in the near term" either, he said.