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U.S. factory activity growth slows slightly in May: Markit

Containers await departure as crews load and unload consumer products at the Port of New Orleans along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed very slightly in May, as a deceleration in new orders offset an improvement in employment, according to an industry report released on Monday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was 54.0 in May, up slightly from the preliminary reading of 53.8 and essentially flat with the April reading of 54.1.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The index's new order component fell to 54.3 from April's 55.3 to its lowest since January 2014, though it was up a hair from the preliminary reading of 54.2. The employment index rose to its highest level since November and improved on the preliminary reading.

"With manufacturers reporting the smallest rise in new orders since the start of last year, the survey provides further evidence that the strong dollar is hurting the economy," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. "While the economy still looks set to rebound from the decline seen in the first quarter, the extent of the second quarter recovery therefore remains highly uncertain and could well disappoint."


(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; ryan.vlastelica@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6014; Reuters Messaging: ryan.vlastelica@reuters.com@reuters.net)