September 23, 2015 / 2:05 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. factory activity stuck at near two-year low in September: Markit

NEW YORK, (Reuters) - Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector showed no month-over-month change during September, staying at August’s sluggish pace which was the weakest in almost two years, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

An Airbus A321 is being assembled in the final assembly line hangar at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama September 13, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Spooneybarger

Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September was 53. That was the same as August, which was its lowest since October 2013.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the September figure would be 53.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Job creation also slowed in September, with the index at 51.4, its weakest since July 2014, down from a final August reading of 52.4.

A strong dollar, flagging demand in many export markets and reduced capital spending by energy and other companies were all dragging on U.S. manufacturing, according to Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

“The survey is indicating the weakest manufacturing growth for almost two years, meaning the sector will have acted as a drag on the economy in the third quarter,” Williamson said.

The index’s output component inched up to 54.3 from the August final reading of 53.8.

Reporting By Michael Connor in New York, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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