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US factory and jobless data signal weakness in economy
US manufacturing closed out its weakest quarter in three years this month and the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits held near two-month highs last week, suggesting the economic recovery is failing to gain traction. Financial information firm Markit said its US "flash", or preliminary, manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index stood at 51.5 in September, unchanged from August. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The index averaged 51.5 in the third quarter, below the 54.2 registered between April and June, for its worst showing since the third quarter of 2009. At 51.2, the output component ... (full story)