DETROIT (AP) — Detroit's decades-long fall from industrial powerhouse to financial ruin was the result of a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing.

Thursday's bankruptcy filing by the one-time irrepressible engine of the American economy had been feared for months, but much about the city's path forward remains uncertain.

Bankruptcy could mean laying off employees, selling off assets, raising fees and scaling back basic services such as trash collection and snow plowing, which have already been slashed.

Now city and state leaders must confront the challenge of rebuilding Detroit's broken budget in as little as a year.