As we begin the fourth quarter the stock market is looking to rebound after its worst quarterly loss in four years — but that might be tough because we’re seeing significant bumps in the economic highway.

Exports to China have been dropping, orders to U.S. factories have fallen and new data released earlier this month shows fewer jobs are being created nationwide.

After years of slow but steady growth, the U.S. economy seems to be going into a cool-down mode.

“The economy is not going to stop growing. It’s still sturdy, but it’s starting to lose steam, so we’ve really downshifted this summer,” said Rutgers University economist James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.

He points out last year we added an average of 260 thousand jobs a month, but since the start of the summer of 2015, that figure has dropped to 167 thousand a month.

“Global slow growth has been slowing the U.S. economy,” he said. “The U.S. economy had been the global growth locomotive, but we’re not immune to global forces.”

Hughes says the economic slowdown in China in particular is having a negative effect on us here, but several other nations are not buying as much from the U.S. as had been anticipated, and that’s now slowing our economy.

“It’s not yet a step backwards,” he said. “it’s just a significant slowing from what had been a pretty robust pace, particularly in 2014.”

He added: “Periodically during an expansion you do have some soft patches, and eventually you exit those soft patches.”

So what does this all mean for the typical Jersey resident?

“For somebody looking to switch jobs it’s not good news and so it may well have an effect on consumer behavior,” Hughes said. “People may be less willing to take risks, less willing to make a big purchase.”