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US Manufacturing falls for first time in almost three years

By Doug Powers  •  July 2, 2012 01:36 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

“I’m here because the factory that’s being built behind me is an example of an America that is within our reach. An America that attracts the next generation of engineering jobs, an America where we build stuff, and make stuff, and sell stuff all over the world.” – President Obama, January 2012

Brace for the creation of a brand spankin’ new “Federal Department of Making and Selling More Stuff” to get to the bottom of why this is happening:

U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly three years, a troubling sign as evidence builds that economic growth is slowing.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.7. That’s down from 53.5 in May and the lowest reading since July 2009, one more after the recession officially ended. Readings below 50 indicate contraction.

Production fell to a three-year low and a measure of new orders plummeted by the most in more than a decade, suggesting the weakness will likely persist in the coming months.

Stocks, which had largely been flat when the market opened, fell immediately after the report was released at 10 a.m. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 70 points in morning trading.

The contraction can be partially attributed to aggressive pricing actions from Chinese manufacturers lowering demand for U.S.-made thingamajigs.

(h/t JWF)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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