The last several months have not been kind to domestic manufacturing.
Data set after data set has depicted an American industrial sector that’s at best spinning its wheels and at worst slipping into decline. And regional manufacturing reports from Federal Reserve branches in Kansas City, Richmond and Dallas have been anything but optimistic, with an anonymous Dallas industry respondent recently indicating that “sometime after the election, historical data will show that in 2016 the U.S. was in recession.”
Whether that’s true or not, there are already signs that the manufacturing sector has fallen into contractionary territory. A recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed domestic manufacturers shed 14,000 positions in August, while the latest purchasing managers’ index from the Institute for Supply Management showed industrial economic activity had receded after five straight months of growth.