The American manufacturing sector expanded for its 10th consecutive month in May, but at a slower rate, it emerged yesterday.
The purchasing managers' index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) fell to 59.7 points last month, slightly down from 60.4 the month before. A figure of 50 or above represents growth.
The PMI figure was slightly ahead of analysts' expectations. The ISM's survey also found that the rate of growth in manufacturing employment accelerated in May.
Sentiment was also helped by data showing that US spending in the construction industry rose in April at its fastest monthly rate since 2000.