I don’t think we’re headed to a recession…
March 3 (Bloomberg) — Manufacturing in the U.S. contracted in February for a second time in three months, pushing the economy closer to a recession, economists said a private survey today may show.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell to 48 from 50.7 in January, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 60 economists. Fifty is the dividing line between contraction and expansion.
The collapse in housing is rippling through the economy as consumers curb spending and factories reduce production of furniture, automobiles and appliances. Credit restrictions may continue to hurt economic growth, prompting Federal Reserve policy makers to lower interest rates again this month.
“Manufacturing surveys have painted a dreary picture,” said Ethan Harris, chief U.S. economist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York. “The U.S. economy is in the process of a significant deceleration.”
The Tempe, Arizona-based purchasers’ group will issue the report at 10 a.m. New York time. Economists’ forecasts ranged from 46 to 51.
A report from the Commerce Department at the same time will show construction spending declined 0.7 percent in January, reflecting the slump in residential projects, according to the survey median. That would follow a 1.1 percent drop the prior month.