FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Manufacturing activity contracted in the United States in December for its fifth consecutive month, as the ISM Index dropped to its lowest level since 1980, according to data by the Institute for Supply Management.

The PMI index fell in December to 32.4, from the 36.2 level reached in November. December's reading has been the lowest since the 30.3 level reached in June 1980. A level below 50 shows contraction in the sector's activity, and figures above 50 mean growth.

New orders index has dropped 5.2 points to 22.7 in December, while the production sub index fell 6 points to 25.5, and the employment index dropped 4.3 points to 29.9, the lowest level since the 28.2 reached in November 1982.