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After Slowing First Half, Will Manufacturing Hit the Brakes?

June 19, 2019 / Bill Koenig

The manufacturing economy has been tapping the brakes during 2019s first half. The question is whether it slams the brakes during the years second half. Take, for example, the Institute for Supply Managements manufacturing index, known as the PMI. In May, the index represented near zero growth, according to Timothy F. Fiore, chair of ISMs Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. The index for May was 52.1 percent, the lowest level since 51.7 percent in October 2016. A reading above 50 percent means the manufacturing economy is expanding. It was last below 50 percent in August 2016. Another barometer: U.S. manufacturers added 284,000 jobs in 2018. The pace this year has slowed down, including some months with job losses.