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Manufacturing sector slows in February; orders contract
USMCA will produce ‘optimistic’ news from manufacturing: NAM CEO
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons discusses how USMCA will impact manufacturing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. factory manufacturing activity slowed in February as new orders contracted, likely reflecting worries about supply chain disruptions related to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, which has revived financial market fears of a recession.
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The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday its index of national factory activity fell to a reading of 50.1 last month from 50.9 in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index slipping to 50.5 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy. The ISM index pulled above the 50 threshold in January for first time in five months, as trade tensions between the United States and China eased following the signing of a partial deal that month.
ANTI-CORONAVIRUS CONTROLS BITE CHINESE MANUFACTURING
But the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed nearly 3,000 people and infected more than 80,000, most of them in China, is a new threat for factories. Data and some regional Federal Reserve factory surveys had hinted at some stabilization in manufacturing after it slumped last year.