Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 47th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued May 1 by the Institute for Supply Management. The report is based on data compiled from U.S. manufacturing purchasing and supply executives nationwide, including purchasing, new orders, production, employment, and price indices.

The ISM PMI (purchasing managers index) registered 50.7 percent, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from March's reading of 51.3 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the fifth consecutive month, but at the lowest rate of the year.

The New Orders Index increased in April by 0.9 percentage point to 52.3 percent, and the Production Index increased by 1.3 percentage points to 53.5 percent.
The Employment Index registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points compared to March's reading of 54.2 percent. The Prices Index registered 50 percent, decreasing 4.5 percentage points from March, indicating that overall raw materials prices remained unchanged from last month.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in April in the following order: Furniture & Related Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; and Computer & Electronic Products.

The three industries reporting contraction in April are: Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Chemical Products.

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ISM Manufacturing Report
Source: Institute of Supply Management