Is the Rising Star of U.S. Manufacturing Fading?

Once the darling of the "recovery," manufacturing faces challenges as the global economy slows.


While the single biggest risk to economic expansion remains outside U.S. borders—a potential financial crisis in the euro zone, slowing growth in emerging markets—Smith doesn't predict any sharp movement in either direction for manufacturing. Much like every other sector in the U.S. economy, manufacturing will likely continue to post good but not great numbers, he says. "The economic environment is not one of rapid expansion that will bring down unemployment, but not one that looks like it's going to slip into recession."

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