NEW YORK: The National Assn. of Purchasing Management reported Nov. 1 that its October purchasing managers' index of manufacturing activity fell to 56.6 vs September's 57.8. The October index came in slightly above the consensus forecast of 56.3. The price index for October stood at 69.4 -- the highest since May 1995 -- vs 67.6 in September, while the October employment index was 52.8, compared with 51.5 in September. A number above 50 is considered a sign of expansion in the manufacturing economy. A number below that level is seen as indicating a slowing in the manufacturing economy. The purchasing managers' report is a survey of 250 purchasing managers in 21 industries in all 50 states.