NEW YORK – U.S. factory output grew more slowly in February as new orders and hiring intentions eased, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.
The Institute for Supply Management (search) said its index of national manufacturing activity slipped to 55.3 in February from 56.4 in January, short of forecasts for an uptick to 57.0.
Labor market conditions were also more subdued, with the jobs index edging lower to 57.4 from 58.1. New orders fell to 55.8 from 56.5, while prices paid declined to 65.5 from 69.0.
The index is compiled from monthly responses of purchasing executives at more than 400 firms producing everything from textiles and chemicals to paper and metals.