Slower manufacturing likely drag on small business optimism

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Source: Fox News
By Joyce M. Rosenberg
March 26, 2019

NEW YORK – The growing evidence of a slowdown in manufacturing is likely contributing to the dip in small business optimism that began early in the year.

Reports this month from the government and an industry group point to a drop in manufacturing activity. While the manufacturing sector is a relatively small part of the gross domestic product — the government has estimated it at 11.4 percent in the third quarter of last year — most manufacturers are small businesses as are service companies that do business with them.

Last week the Commerce Department said factory orders rose 0.1 percent in January, a tiny increase that matched December’s reading but fell short of many economists’ forecasts. Shipments of manufactured goods fell 0.4 percent, the fourth straight month of declines.

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