Afternoon Coffee: US Factory Activity Slows in August, China’s Manufacturing Industry Sees Worst Slump in 3 Years

US factory activity fell in August, reaching a low not seen in more than 2 years. The Institute for Supply Management national factory index hit 51.1 last month due to a rising dollar, falling global demand and energy sector spending cuts.

Chinese manufacturing activity also took a hit in August amid declining economic conditions. The country’s official manufacturing purchasing-managers index dropped to 49.7 in August, a 3-year low. A reading of 50 or above marks expansion in the industry.

Back in the US, construction industry activity continues to climb. Construction spending in July increased 0.7%, more than expected. Residential construction spending specifically rose 1.1%.

US auto sales unexpectedly grew in August. Ford, for example, saw sales increase 5% last month and Fiat sales rose 2%. Overall, indicated sales of about 17.5 million cars on an annualized basis were reported, more than the 17.3 million expected.

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