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US final October manufacturing PMI at 55.9 vs 57.5 preliminary

A Chrysler assembly line at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan.
Getty Images
A Chrysler assembly line at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan.

The U.S. manufacturing sector slowed in October to its lowest rate of growth since July, while a gauge of new orders hit its lowest level since January, an industry report showed on Monday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to 55.9 from September's final reading of 57.5. The reading showed an even sharper slowdown than initially estimated in Markit's preliminary or "flash" PMI reading of 56.2 on Oct 23 and was the index's largest decline since February.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

The new orders subindex was unchanged from the flash reading, dropping to 57.1, its lowest level since January, from a final reading of 59.8 in September.

Output, meanwhile, fell more than earlier estimated, sliding to 57.8, the lowest since March, from 59.6 in September. Output had initially been estimated at 58 in the flash reading.

"The latest figures indicate that the recovery has lost some intensity at the start of the fourth quarter, reflecting subdued export demand from the euro area and key emerging markets," said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit.

"Meanwhile, a solid rate of manufacturing job creation was sustained in October, which provides an early indication that domestic labor market conditions have continued to strengthen through the final quarter of the year," Moore said.

Still, the employment subindex eased more than earlier estimated from September's level, which was the strongest reading of labor conditions in the manufacturing sector since March 2012.