Economic Report: Key manufacturing report slides into contraction territory, ISM says

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A key report on U.S. manufacturing fell in August to a level indicating activity shrank, another sign of the difficulties in the factory sector.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday its manufacturing index in August fell to 49.4% from 52.6% last month, below the consensus expectation for a 52% reading. Any reading below 50% indicates contraction, and the index was below that level for the first time since February.

U.S. stocks SPX, -0.48% dropped following the report’s release.

Of the 18 different industries ISM measures, 11 shrank during the month.

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