Survey: US manufacturing activity sank to decade-low

Survey: US manufacturing activity sank to decade-low
In this Sept. 18, 2019, photo a Puckett Machinery Company technician walks past a new heavy duty Caterpillar excavator that awaits modification at Puckett Machinery Company in Flowood, Miss. On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of manufacturing activity for September. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory activity shrank for the second straight month in September, hitting the lowest level in more than a decade as President Donald Trump’s trade wars take a toll on American manufacturing.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says that its manufacturing index dropped to 47.8% in September, down from 49.1% in August. Any reading below 50 signals that the sector shrinking.

The nearly 15-month trade spat between the US and China has hit American manufacturers especially hard, as business confidence weakens and global demand softens. This month’s measure reported the lowest level of manufacturing activity since June 2009, the last month of the Great Recession.

Measures of production and employment slipped by 2.2% and 1.1%. New orders rose a slight 0.1%.