3/8: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

February planned job cuts rose 45 percent from January and 117 percent year-on-year

U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 76,835 positions from their payrolls in February, up 45 percent from January and 117 percent year-on-year, to the highest level in over 3.5 years  The spike was primarily due to the U.S. Army’s cutting over 50,000 jobs and falling oil prices, causing thousands of cuts in the energy sector.

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February manufacturing sector index rose 2.4 points to 54.2

The February PMI® registered 54.2 percent, an decrease of 2.4 percentage points from the January reading of 56.6 percent. Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, supported by notable demand and output, although both were softer than the prior month.

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February service sector index rose 3.0 points to 56.7

The NMI® registered 59.7 percent, which is 3 percentage points higher than the January reading of 56.7 percent. Respondents are concerned about the uncertainty of tariffs, capacity constraints and employment resources; however, they remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy.

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