ISM manufacturing index shows biggest drop in orders since 2009
by Jeffry Bartash
The numbers: American manufacturers began to feel the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic toward the end of March as new orders and employment fell to the lowest level since the end of the 2007-2009 Great Recession, a new survey of executives showed.
The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index slipped to 49.1% last month from 50.1%. Readings under 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the index to drop to 44%, but the survey was completed before widespread sections of the U.S. economy were shuttered.