If you are looking for signs of trouble in the U.S. economy, many experts (and politicians) point to manufacturing. The industry is facing the double whammy of President Trump’s trade war and declining purchases from abroad as Europe, China and other countries are slowing down.
The red flags have been rising for the manufacturing section this year. Hiring has slowed sharply. Last year, the sector was averaging 22,000 new jobs a month, according to Labor Department data. This year it’s down to 8,000. And a popular gauge of manufacturing’s health — the PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) — has tumbled in recent months and now sits at near-recession levels.
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