U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February, providing additional proof of a pointy slowdown in financial progress early within the first quarter.
The Federal Reserve stated on Friday manufacturing manufacturing dropped 0.Four p.c final month, held down by declines within the output of motor autos, equipment, and furnishings. Information for January was revised as much as present output at factories falling 0.5 p.c as a substitute of slumping 0.9 p.c as beforehand reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output rising 0.three p.c in February. Manufacturing at factories elevated 1.Zero p.c in February from a yr in the past.
Motor autos and elements output slipped 0.1 p.c final month after tumbling 7.6 p.c in January. Excluding motor autos and elements, manufacturing output fell 0.Four p.c final month.
February’s drop in manufacturing manufacturing added to mushy stories starting from retail gross sales to housing in suggesting the financial system misplaced vital momentum early within the first quarter. Goldman Sachs is forecasting gross home product will rise at a 0.6 p.c annualized price within the first quarter. The financial system grew at a 2.6 p.c tempo within the fourth quarter.
Manufacturing exercise, which accounts for about 12 p.c of the financial system, is shedding steam because the enhance to capital spending from final yr’s $1.5 trillion tax minimize package deal fades. Exercise can also be being crimped by a commerce conflict between the US and China in addition to by final yr’s surge within the greenback and softening world financial progress, that are hurting exports.