US manufacturing falls to 3-month low after ‘big freeze’ disruptions

Factories in the US saw a slowdown in activity in January, reflecting slower output and growth in new orders, according to a flash PMI estimate from Markit.

The extreme weather the US has seen meant suppliers’ delivery times lengthened their furthest since August 2008.

The purchasing managers’ index came in at 53.7 for the first month of 2014 - the lowest reading since last October. This still indicates growth (it’s over 50) but is lower than the expected 55.0, which would have meant it was unchanged from December, which was an 11-month high.

New orders growth fell to 54.1 from 56.1.