The U.S. manufacturing industry, once the wonder of the world, is gasping for breath and barely clinging on to life support. The manufacturing industry had its weakest quarter in three years the last three months. And under the Obama Administration, it doesn’t look like it will get better; the Mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. posted its fifth straight month of diminished factory activity.
Financial information firm Markit said its U.S. preliminary manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index averaged 51.5 in the third quarter, well below the 54.2 registered between April and June. The output component, which stood at 51.2, was the lowest since September 2009.
Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “There is really no incentive for manufacturing firms here in the U.S. to ramp up production or hiring anytime soon. They are sitting back and assessing the data as it comes in, what happens in November and what Congress does before year end.”
The situation profoundly affects the U.S. economy; manufacturing accounts for about 12 per cent of US gross domestic product. In August, the manufacturing industry lost 17,000 jobs; primary metals, such as steel and aluminum, lost 2,600 jobs.