The Wall Street Journal reports today that, for the first time in three years, U.S. manufacturing has plunged to an index of 49.7 in June after sitting at 53.5 in May.
An index below 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is not only slowing but contracting.
At the American Enterprise Institute, James Pethokoukis wonders if the American economy isn’t once again in recession after three years of a shaky economic expansion:
But these numbers are just the latest in a long string of worrisome reports including rising initial unemployment claims, slowing job growth, falling consumer confidence, and declining durable goods orders. Oh, and the rest of the global economy is slowing, too.
RDQ Economics reports that this is the largest manufacturing decline since 9/11 and the second largest since the worst of the Carter Recession in 1980.
This coming Friday, jobs numbers for the month of June will be released, and early signs do not look promising. On Thursday, we learned that the GDP had plunged from 3.0% in the previous quarter to 1.9%. Initial unemployment claims have also creeped back towards the dreaded 400,000 mark. 386,000 last week, 392,000 the week prior.
But there is even worse news for the economy…
The upholding of ObamaCare by our Supreme Court means that America’s second-to-the-last chance to kill off this extraordinary drag on our economy resulted in a big miss last week. Our last chance is this November. Job creators understand this and, up till now, have felt uncertain about adding new employees. Now they’re absolutely certain that new hires are a bad idea given the burdensome regulations, costs, taxes, and fines headed their way regardless — but even more so now with each new hire.
New hires can not only put job creators in a new cycle of beauracratic pain, but God only knows what nasty surprises await in the 2600 page monstrosity ACA, which is now the law of the land.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC