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U.S. manufacturing output falls for second straight month

See More From: oann.com

Mar 15, 2019 9:26 AM 1+ week ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February and factory activity in New York state hit nearly a two-year low this month, offering further evidence of a sharp slowdown in economic growth early in the first quarter.

The reports on Friday extended the streak of weak data and underscored the Federal Reserve's "patient" stance towards further interest rate increases this year. Fed officials are scheduled to meet next Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the economy and deliberate on the future course of monetary policy. The U.S. central bank raised rates four times last year.

"The economy is spinning its wheels and not gaining any traction yet in this soft patch produced by trade wars and stock market turbulence and the government shutdown," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

"Thank God Fed officials were smart enough to take their foot off the rate hikes accelerator."

The Fed said manufacturing ...

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