Seen historically as the lifeblood of the American economy, the current outlook for manufacturing in the United States is complicated.
On the one hand, manufacturing doesn’t wield as large an influence on the U.S. economy as it once did — the sector has declined substantially in the past several decades. The upside is that a recent slowdown in the sector might not put a halt to the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, as some fear.
At the same time, economists say if the manufacturing sector stalls, it could drag down related industries and disproportionately affect parts of the country where factories employ thousands of people. “Take a 1 percent decline in manufacturing. We say that’s not such a big deal; except that in the states where that decline is happening, it is still a really big deal,” said Martha Olney, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Read the full story, "Why a slowdown in manufacturing matters for the U.S. economy," at pbs.org.