U.S. manufacturers contracted in December at the fastest pace seen in more than six years, as factories cut jobs and new orders shrank.
The Institute for Supply Management says its index of factory activity fell to 48.2 from 48.6 in November—any reading under 50 signals contraction. These figures suggest the troubles that weighed on manufacturers last year, including slow overseas growth, a strong dollar and low oil prices, will continue into 2016.
The ISM report coincides with a survey that finds manufacturing in China contracted for a 10th straight month in December, the latest sign of slowing global economic growth.
U.S. stock markets plunged in early trading today, reflecting renewed concerns about China’s troubles and Middle East tensions. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 387 points.