bad economy hidden by war

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    The National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said its factory index fell to 48.4 this month from 54.9 in February. Readings below 50 mean business is contracting.

    A measure of production fell by the most in 23 years and companies placed fewer orders with the region's factories. Weakening manufacturing and expectations of a second straight decline in employment this month suggest the economy is stalling.
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