U.S. manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, the first month after the Great Recession ended. Worries about automatic tax increases in the New Year cut demand for factory orders and manufacturing jobs.
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing conditions fell to a reading of 49.5. That's down from 51.7 in October.
Any reading above 50 signals expansion, while readings below 50 indicate contraction. Manufacturing grew in October for only the second time since May. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.