U.S. Factory Activity Decelerates Sharply Amid Global Slowdown

American manufacturing growth slowed sharply in December, adding to concerns about cooling economic expansions in the U.S. and abroad.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its manufacturing index fell to 54.1 in December, the largest one-month drop since the end of 2008, during the financial crisis. Still, a reading above 50 indicates factory activity is expanding.

The report offers the most concrete sign that the U.S. economy is losing steam after expanding strongly in 2018. It follows others indicating ebbing U.S. consumer confidence and vehicle sales last month.

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