The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity in May fell to 49.0 from 50.7 in April as new orders slipped and demand for exports declined.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. The last time the ISM manufacturing index fell below 50 was November 2012.
The gauge for new orders dropped to 48.8 from 52.3, while a measure of employment edged down to 50.1 from 50.2. Production fell to 48.6 from 53.5.
The exports index fell to 51.0 from 54.0, while imports held up relatively better, slipping slightly to 54.5 from 55.0.
6/3/2013 3:07:04 PM