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Fed’s Rate Moves Put Manufacturing Sector at Risk

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The American manufacturing sector is starting to show signs of weakness after two years of strong growth, as higher interest rates and a slowdown in exports threaten production.New orders for manufactured goods contracted for the sixth straight month through February, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management.

Manufacturing output is down 1.7% from its postpandemic peak in May 2022, according to a three-month moving average of Federal Reserve data.

And the Commerce Department’s measure of civilian capital equipment orders, excluding aircraft—the building blocks of business—was down 3.4% in January from its recent high in November 2021, after adjusting for inflation.

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