"American manufacturing has stalled (at best) despite an official White House policy of promoting it. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell in December for a fifth consecutive month (“U.S. Manufacturing Shrinks for Fifth Month, Signaling Weak Start to 2020,” Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2020). It was the lowest reading of the index (which comes from a monthly survey of American purchasing and supply executives) since June 2009. Another private manufacturing index, the HIS Markit’s purchasing managers index was not as gloomy, but not uplifting either (“Manufacturing Shows Stability in U.S., Asia,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2020)."