As the novel coronavirus spread to more countries, key measures of U.S. manufacturing activity fell last month.
“Coronavirus continues to be front and center as a major supply chain risk to our company. Access to information in China — from our supply base and customers — is slow to come by,” one respondent said in the Institute for Supply Management release.
A survey of businesses released by IHS Markit found that factory activity fell last month. Its Purchasing Managers Index decreased to 50.7 from 51.9 a month earlier. According to Business Insider, “the respiratory illness COVID-19 has compounded issues for the manufacturing sector, which entered a technical recession last year as trade concerns and global growth concerns caused new orders and production to weaken sharply.”
“While trade war fears have eased, helping push firms' expectations for future growth to the highest since last April, coronavirus-related supply chain issues threaten to constrain production in coming months,” said Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit. “At the same time, companies have become increasingly concerned that the COVID-19 outbreak will also hit demand.”
CNBC reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all posted last week their worst weekly performances since the financial crisis.