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U.S. Manufacturing Shrinks to Lowest Level Since 2001
Oct 2, 2008
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A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity contracted more than expected last month, hitting the lowest level since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, as new orders slowed dramatically.

The Institute for Supply Management released a September reading of 43.5, the lowest level since October 2001. The reading dropped from 49.9 in August, the largest one-month decline since January, 1984, when it fell to 60.5 from 69.9. A reading above 50 signals growth.

The survey of purchasing managers found new orders fell to 38.8 in September from a reading of 48.3 in August. Employment, deliveries, inventories and manufacturers' order backlogs also fell. Industries reporting contraction included appliances, furniture, machinery, and transportation equipment.

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