September 28, 2018 / 1:07 PM / in 3 months

U.S. Upper Midwest factory sector growth hits 13-month low

(Reuters) - A measure of factory activity in the U.S. Upper Midwest fell to a 13-month low in September on concerns about shortage of workers and rising costs tied to tariffs, according to a private-sector survey released on Friday.

Marquette University and the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee said their seasonally adjusted index on manufacturing in the Milwaukee region dropped to 56.16 this month from 64.63 in August.

The latest reading is the lowest since 55.41 in August 2017.

A reading above 50 indicates regional factory activity is expanding.

The tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Chinese goods “are going to kill us as 90 percent of the goods we sell in the U.S. are produced in China,” said one response cited by the survey.

On Monday, Washington slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. The United States and China had already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of each other’s goods.

The survey’s component on new orders, a proxy on future activity, decreased to 56.98 from 65.84 the prior month, while its production gauge tumbled to 51.49 from 61.10.

The measure on prices rose to 88.89 from 86.67, while the employment gauge fell 51.07 from 60.06.

Components on inventories and exports fell into contraction territory at 47.22 and 45.83, respectively.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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