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Here’s one more sign the US economy is slowing

Add one more signal that the U.S. economy is slowing down.

Sales and profits are falling at more of America's biggest companies, according to the latest quarterly survey of a group of business economists.

The share of those reporting stronger sales dropped to the lowest level in seven years, according to the National Association for Business Economics. And, for only the second time since the end of the Great Recession, more respondents said profits were falling than those who said profits were rising at their companies.

The group also reported that the pace of hiring has slowed in the last three months. The number of economists who said their companies were adding jobs fell to the lowest level in two years. And fewer said they expect their companies to raise wages in the next three months.


The survey is in line with other signs that the U.S. economy has slowed since last summer. The government's official measure of gross domestic product slowed to a 1.4 percent annual growth rate between October and December from a 2.0 percent rate in the prior three months.

Other reports are also showing that the economy has continued to weaken this year. Last month, industrial production fell by a worse-than-expected 0.6 percent, the sixth drop in the last seven months.

Consumers have also gotten gloomier. Recently, consumer sentiment fell to the lowest level since September and its fourth straight monthly drop. The government's latest report on retail sales showed a decline that was more than economists had expected.

The official read on first-quarter GDP won't be out until April 28, the day after the Fed's next policy meeting, but early projections aren't looking good. The Atlanta Fed is currently estimating that the economy pretty much stood still in the first three months of 2016, expanding by just 0.1 percent