PhotoThe manufacturing sector expanded in April, as the overall economy grew for the 95th month in a row, according to the nation’s supply executives

The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management shows the April Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell 2.4% from the previous month to 54.8%.

A reading above 50 signifies growth, while a reading below that indicates contraction.

The New Orders Index fell 7% to 57.5%, while the Production Index was up 1.0% to 58.6%. The Employment Index tumbled 6.9% to 52%, with inventories of raw materials rising 2.0% to 51.0%.

The Prices Index came in at 68.5% for a loss of 2%, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 14th straight month, but at a slower rate of increase than was posted in March.

Industry performance

Sixteen of 18 manufacturing industries reported last month:

  1. Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components;
  2. Textile Mills;
  3. Nonmetallic Mineral Products;
  4. Furniture & Related Products;
  5. Plastics & Rubber Products;
  6. Fabricated Metal Products;
  7. Printing & Related Support Activities;
  8. Machinery;
  9. Paper Products;
  10. Chemical Products;
  11. Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products;
  12. Primary Metals;
  13. Miscellaneous Manufacturing;
  14. Computer & Electronic Products;
  15. Petroleum &Coal Products; and
  16. Transportation Equipment.

The only industry reporting contraction was Apparel, Leather & Allied Products.

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