With the Flash read falling to 51.1 in October from September's final 52.8 read, the Markit PMI gauge hits its lowest level in a year, with Output at 49.5 falling into contraction territory for the first time since September 2009.
New Orders fell to 51.6 from 53.2 and Supplier Delivery Times (the Maestro used to favor this measure) slid to 44.9 from 46.8.
Markit's Chris Williamson notes this read provides the first decent look into the effect of the government shutdown and the early verdict is it hit companies hard. "It is impossible to disentangle the impact of the shutdown from other factors that might have been at play during the month, so equally impossible to judge the extent to which business might bounce back in November."
Taper? What taper.