Inflation continued its "slow but steady" climb in May as Fed policymakers gear up for another hike in interest rates.
“Without stronger productivity, achieving the 3% growth rate President Donald Trump has set as a goal becomes more difficult."
The unease is denting CEO confidence and causing chief executives to question hiring and spending plans.
Declines in demand for transportation equipment and machinery weighed down April's U.S. factory orders, say experts.
The economy added 223,000 jobs in May. About 120,000 are needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.
A weaker inventory buildup than first estimated could bode well for second-quarter gross domestic product numbers.
The 0.8% fall in orders for heavy machinery was seen by some as a sign that perhaps tariffs on steel and other goods had hurt demand.
The consumer electronics retailer is holding its own in a highly competitive market.
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"The outlook for the U.S. manufacturing sector is still bright, in part because rising oil prices will lead to more U.S. production."