American manufacturing drops

A key American manufacturing index fell this month, raising fears of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly numbers fell from 56.2 to 55.5.

However, the figure was higher than the median in a Bloomberg poll of economists, which predicted a fall to 54.5.

Any number larger than 50 indicates an expansion in activity.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, says the figures have fallen in step with the first fall in 17 months in Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices. (article continues below)

“While there is no reason to be running for cover yet, this will be used as ammo by those who believe the world is heading for another period of extreme market falls,” he says.