NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in June at its most sluggish rate in 18 months as the pace of output, hiring and new orders all slowed, an industry survey showed on Monday.
The final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index stood at 52.5 in June, below both a preliminary estimate of 52.9 and May's reading of 54.0. June marked the lowest showing since December, 2010.
U.S. factories were hurt by weak European demand for U.S. goods. Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said that should persist "for some time to come" as Europe struggles with austerity budgets and sluggish growth.
One bright spot has been "resilient demand" from the domestic market, which Williamson said has helped U.S. factories outperform those in most other economies.
However, the slowest pace of hiring in the sector since late 2010 suggests overall job creation in the U.S. economy remained modest in June, Williamson said.