'To see inflows of new orders first decline since the middle of 2016 following the referendum, will send shivers down the spine of business'. The softness in total new orders was mainly centred on the consumer goods sector, as the intermediate and investment goods categories both recorded mild growth.
In an interview, Fiore said that five of manufacturing's six biggest sectors contributed to the expanding PMI number, but the lone one that did not expand was fabricated metal products, which he said is in the middle of the issues related to steel and aluminum tariffs, adding that new orders were also a drag.
Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said October's reading was below the third-quarter average of 53.6: "While construction activity improved in October, there was a disappointing softening in new orders which grew at the slowest rate since May". Inventories, at 50.7, dropped 2.6% while growing for the tenth consecutive month, albeit at a marginal level, according to the report, and struggling to keep pace with production and reflecting ongoing issues with supplier deliveries.
Civil engineering in October grew at the strongest pace since July a year ago, offsetting the weakest growth in housebuilding and commercial construction in seven and five months, respectively. Although the rate of output price inflation accelerated to the fastest since July, it remained well below that seen for input costs.
The sub-index measuring new orders fell to 55.5 from 57.3 in September, and 60.3 in August.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
Domestic and foreign demand is expected to decline over the next 12 months as a result of tit-for-tat tariffs on bilateral exports by the world's two largest economies, the survey cited firms as saying.
The IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI™ is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 800 manufacturers.
But the rate of payroll reduction in the manufacturing sector slowed from September, according to the Caixin survey, which focuses more on small and medium-sized companies which are vital to China's job creation.
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