Last updateFri, 22 May 2020 4pm

Manufacturing & The Economy

Manufacturing Falls by Most in Over a Decade

Manufacturers registered the fastest deterioration in operating conditions since the depths of the financial crisis in March, as signaled by a fall in the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from 50.7 in February, to 49.2 at the end of the first quarter.

Note that the headline PMI was buoyed by longer supplier delivery times (which are normally a sign of improving demand). Steep rates of contraction were signaled for production and new orders, both of which fell to the greatest extent since 2009, with many firms linking this to the escalation of preventative measures following the outbreak of COVID-19. Some companies have reported having to shut down and give refunds where orders could not be fulfilled in time.

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