U.S. manufacturing growth slows as orders weaken

Two reports found signs of a slowing economy as U.S. factories expanded at a weaker pace in March and construction spending fell in February. But the slowdown in both sectors is expected to be short-lived. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.5 in March from 52.9 in February. It was the fifth straight drop. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion. U.S. manufacturers have faced a drag in recent months from falling oil prices, a rising dollar, winter storms and a since-resolved shutdown of West Coast ports that has created a backlog of shipments. Some drilling rigs have stopped as...