WASHINGTON — Manufacturing expanded less than forecast in March as factories slowed production and orders waned.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 51.3 from the prior month’s 54.2 that was the highest since June 2011, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group’s figures showed Monday.
Limited improvement in the global economy and concern about the effects on the U.S. expansion from automatic cuts in federal spending may be prompting some companies to cut back. At the same time, progress in the housing industry and resilient consumer demand will help to cushion the hit, keeping American factories running.
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