The Wall Street Journal takes note of a change in the birth rate that could protend trouble to come. (Subscription required.)
U.S. births have edged up modestly since 2013, a trend likely to continue when last year’s official federal figures are scheduled to come out in June. That has stemmed a sharp drop in child bearing that started with the onset of the recession in 2007.
But behind that sliver of good news are more-worrisome signs that the U.S. may not soon return to its pre-recession average of about two babies for every adult woman. Some demographers have pared their forecasts for future births because an expected post-recession baby boom has been smaller than anticipated.
The leveling-off in births is weighing on sales at children’s stores, prompting hospitals to rework their birth wards and putting pressure on builders of single-family homes, executives and economists say.