US manufacturing and exports continued growth in February while imports slid drastically.

March 2, 2020 – Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in February, and the overall economy grew for the 130th consecutive month, reported the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business.

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Exports dipped slightly to 51.2 in January, down from December’s 53.3. Any reading above 50.0 indicates growth.

Imports, on the other hand, dropped significantly, falling to 42.6 from December’s 51.3. A drop of 8.7 percent.

“Survey respondents noted the combined effects of the Lunar New Year as well as the coronavirus resulted in lower imports, which will continue as the effects of the virus are better understood,” said Fred Baehner, IBNewsmag publisher.

“The 9-state regional trade numbers were mixed with February new export orders increasing to a solid 58.0 from January’s 52.1,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, director of Creighton University’s Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics “On the other hand, the evolving coronavirus reduced Asian buying by supply mangers as the import index fell to 40.4 from January’s 46.3.”

Approximately 24% of the regional respondents said that the coronavirus had pushed their firm to switch to domestic vendors for certain inputs. One in five supply managers reported that the coronavirus has forced their firm to rethink its sources of supplies and raw materials.

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