First Signals from December Hints at Trouble

The first survey of December’s economic data came out on Wednesday with diminished results: United States manufacturer growth hit new lows on multiple fronts last month.

Results from financial data firm IHS Markit showed the U.S. manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) was 53.8 in December, falling nearly two points from 55.3 in November... a 15-month low for the index, while job creation also slowed to an 18-month low.

Manufacturers’ confidence in business also slipped to the lowest level in nearly two years, Markit said, with optimism at its lowest level since October 2016.