Manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region contracted in September for the third time in four months, a troubling sign for an economy that is creating few jobs.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says its regional manufacturing index fell this month to negative 17.5. In August, it dropped to negative 30.7, the worst reading in more than two years. Any reading below zero means the sector is contracting.
The bank says manufacturers received fewer new orders, shipped fewer goods to customers, paid higher prices and cut workers' hours.
The survey of manufacturers was taken in the second week of September. Markets sank as weakening consumer sentiment caused people to spend less. Factories anticipated less demand, causing some to slow their output.