Reuters Reports March Manufacturing Activity Drops Precipitously

U.S. manufacturing output dropped by the most in just over 74 years in March as the novel coronavirus pandemic fractured supply chains, suggesting business investment contracted further in the first quarter.

The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday manufacturing production plummeted 6.3% last month, the biggest decrease since February 1946. Data for February was revised down to show output at factories slipping 0.1% instead of edging up 0.1% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output dropping 3.2% in March.

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