U.S. Dec Factory Activity Slowest in More than 2 Years

The manufacturing sector in the United States fell at the fastest pace since the Covid-19 outbreak began in mid-2020, according to data from a purchasing managers survey released Tuesday, as demand remained subdued and production weakened.

The S&P Global U.S. manufacturing PMI, a gauge of output, fell to 46.2 in December from 47.7 in November, the lowest reading since May 2020 and unchanged from the preliminary estimate.

The index indicates that manufacturing activity contracted for the second consecutive month in December, with any number below 50.0 suggesting contraction.

According to the survey, the contraction in activity was driven by steeper declines in output and new orders, and businesses blamed weak client demand to rising economic uncertainty and high inflation.

“The manufacturing sector posted a weak performance as 2022 was brought to a close,” said Sian Jones, senior economist at S&P Global.