Just when it looked like the tides were turning for President Barack Obama, a fresh set of grim economic data is threatening to derail his re-election bid once again.
A new report released Monday by the Institute for Supply shows that the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted last month for the first time in nearly three years, with the trade group’s factory index falling from to 49.7, down from 53.5 in May:
Photo: Courtesy of the Fiscal Times
The report showed that production, exports, and new orders all declined in June, as U.S. employers scale back hiring and consumers stop spending.
The numbers are a huge blow to Obama. Manufacturing has been the one bright spot for the President amid an increasingly grim economic outlook, and his campaign has built its entire economic message — that things are getting better, slowly — around the modest recovery of the manufacturing sector.
The news also could not have come at a worse time. Obama is about to embark this week on his first campaign bus tour, a two-day swing through Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania — a battleground region that acutely experiences fluctuations in manufacturing.
According to a campaign press release, “President Obama will talk about his efforts over the last three years to get our economy back on track, doubling down on American workers by saving the auto industry, investing in manufacturing and bringing jobs back to America.”
But Obama might find that this message is a harder sell than initially anticipated. The trip, which begins Thursday, will also coincide with Friday’s June employment report.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.