Coronavirus Could Sidetrack Manufacturing Recovery

February 6, 2020

After a long slowdown, global manufacturing has finally begun to show signs of stabilization. Factories in Asia and Europe have been slowing their decline, and U.S. manufacturing hit an important milestone in January. Last month, the Institue for Supply Management’s manufacturing rose to 50.9, up from December’s 47.2. The month’s reading is important, because it is the first time since July that the index has crested above 50, which indicates expansion rather than contraction.

The ISM’s index is based on a survey of production managers. When the data was collected for the January reading, the scale of the coronavirus outbreak was just beginning to be seen. IMS notes that it is likely to have a “strong impact” on February’s data.

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