NEW YORK Feb 3 U.S. manufacturing grew less
briskly in January after hitting an 11-month high the prior
month as output and overseas demand slowed, an industry report
showed on Thursday.
Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing
Purchasing Managers Index fell to 53.7 in January, matching an
advance reading earlier in the month. The index hit an 11-month
high of 55.0 in December. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
Output fell to 53.5, a four-month low, from 57.5. Some firms
attributed the slower pace of growth to the extremely cold
weather in large swaths of the country.
New export orders meanwhile declined for the first time
Firms took on new workers, however, for the seventh straight
month, though the pace of hiring eased slightly, with the
sub-index dropping to 53.2 from 54.0.
"The rate of job creation remained solid and was only
slightly less marked than December's recent high," Markit said
in a statement. "Panel members attributed increased workforce
numbers to rising production requirements."