U.S. factory activity shrank in August for the first time since August 2016, a sign that the trade war with China is weighing down a crucial sector of the economy.
The Associated Press reported that the Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Tuesday (Sept. 3) that its manufacturing index slid to 49.1 last month, from 51.2 in July. Any reading below 50 signals a contraction. That’s the lowest for the index since January 2016.
A global softening in demand, worsened by an increasingly high-risk trade war between the U.S. and China, appears to be hurting American manufacturers. More than half of the public comments from companies surveyed by ISM pointed to economic uncertainty as a drag on their businesses.
Investors were dismayed by the news. Stock prices, which had already fallen at the market’s open, dropped further after the report’s release. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 389 points, or 1.5%, in morning trading.
For the full story click here.