WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturers expanded at their slowest pace in two years last month, held back by faltering global growth and cutbacks in oil and gas drilling.
The Institute for Supply Management says its index of factory activity fell sharply to 50.2 in September from 51.1 in August. That is the lowest level since April 2013. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
New orders and production both fell sharply and a measure of hiring also declined, though all three still showed growth.
U.S. manufacturers are getting hit by slower growth in China, the world's second-largest economy, and a stronger dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive overseas. Oil and gas drillers are also cutting back on their orders for steel pipe and other goods in the wake of sharply lower oil prices.