"Growth in manufacturing has been losing steam lately, especially in the last month," said Don Sabbarese, director of the Econometric Center.
"But," he added, "this looks like a transitory soft spot tied to high energy prices and problems in Japan's supply chain." The latter were triggered by the earthquake in Japan in March.
Manufacturing is an important part of the overall economy and key to a recovery, as manufacturing firms tend to put proportionally more into the local economy, especially manufacturers that export. Manufacturing jobs in Georgia tend to be better-paying than other fields and have a higher than average "multiplier effect" that supports other jobs.
Sabbarese said, "Over the next two or three months, we will know if the declines are short term or will have a longer term impact."