Manufacturing has bolstered the economic recovery as other areas, such as consumer spending, have faltered. There is growing concern that a slowdown in manufacturing could stymie growth during the second half of the year after a second-quarter increase.
Even though manufacturing has slowed somewhat, some factories are doing better than those in other sectors, such as retail and homebuilding.
Still, some economists have argued demand for capital goods slows during the first part of the quarter and picks up toward the end, allaying some concern about the slowdown.
On the news, the Dow Jones Industrials made a quick retreat below 10,000 but appeared to be leveling off somewhat this morning.
Meanwhile, economic growth in the second quarter will probably be revised downward from the initial 2.4 percent estimate to around a 1.4 percent annual pace, a Commerce Department report may show on Friday.
President Obama’s stimulus package likely raised gross domestic product by as much as 4.5 percentage points from April through June, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a report. The estimated $814 billion stimulus also may have increased jobs by 3 million.