The world must be a shocking place for economists. Everything is so unexpected! to them.
U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November, falling to its lowest in over three years in a sign the sector may be struggling to gain traction, according to an industry report released on Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 49.5 in November from 51.7 the month before. The reading was shy of expectations of 51.3, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.
The index hit its lowest since July 2009 and contracted after two straight months of growth that followed a soft period over the summer months.