Orders for U.S. construction and farm machinery were both down through February compared to the previous year. Orders will likely remain low in the coming months due to the strained finances of many customers. Exports, particularly of agricultural equipment, will continue to be lower due to the global spread of COVID-19.
According to ITR Economics, the negative economic impact of COVID-19 will likely be more severe in Europe relative to the U.S. due to a higher per capita mortality rate in some countries and a slower re-opening of various regions.
Defense is one of the few bright spots for the U.S. manufacturing sector. A 2.9% increase in defense spending will aid growth in this market due to the signing in late 2019 of the National Defense Authorization Act.
NOTE: All data for charts supplied by ITR Economics