U.S. Manufacturing Slows as Coronavirus Fears Spread

March 2, 2020

American manufacturing is back on the decline. Recent months have shown promising signs of expansion for the sector after last year’s trade war and global economic slowdown. Now, fears about coronavirus have sidetracked the burgeoning recovery. 

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) fell to 50.1 last month, down from 50.9 in January. This is the lowest PMI reading since late last year. Economists had expected a smaller drop to 50.8.

A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction. The downturn in the index coincides with the coronavirus outbreak in China and its subsequent spread across the globe. The outbreak has left purchasing managers worrying about global economic growth and corporate profits in the first quarter.

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