Survey: US manufacturing slides in March
April 1, 2020 by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press
American manufacturing slid in March, dragged down by economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Wednesday that its manufacturing index fell to 49.1 last month after registering 50.1 in February. Any reading below 50 signals a contraction.
Economists had expected a bigger drop in the index.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantines, travel restrictions and business closings imposed to combat it have hammered global manufacturers, disrupting their access to supplies and crushing demand for their products. But the impact of the outbreak is falling even harder on service businesses such as restaurants and hotels.
According to the ISM survey, new orders, export orders, production and hiring fell last month at U.S. factories.
Ten of 18 industries surveyed reported growth in Marcy, but six contracted, led by energy companies, coal producers and textile
Already weakened by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, manufacturers around the world are reeling from COVID-19 and its economic impact.
Also Wednesday, J.P. Morgan reported that its manufacturing index for the 19 European countries that share the euro currency dropped last month to the lowest level in nearly eight years.
Confidence among eurozone manufacturers fell to a record low.