Manufacturing activity fell during the first couple months of the year.
As growth slows and trade tensions drag on, the sector could be headed for a recession.
Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the US economy.
Manufacturing activity in the US unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in February, underscoring expectations for slower growth across major economies and raising concerns that the sector could be headed for a downturn.
Factory output fell 0.4% last month, Federal Reserve data showed Friday, compared with expectations for a slight increase. In January, manufacturing activity fell 0.5%.
“In other words, a broad-based softening is underway, and we’re sticking to our view that the sector will be in recession through mid-year,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
From machinery to electronics, manufacturing output fell across sectors in February. The decline was offset by an increase in utilities and mining, bringing overall industrial production 0.1% higher from a month earlier.
Motor-vehicle production was little changed after dropping a steep 8.8% in January.
Because the manufacturing sector accounts for just over a tenth of activity, Shepherdson said a short recession in the sector wouldn’t bring the rest of the economy down with it. But it would be …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Finance