PhotoMay marked another month of growth for economic activity in the manufacturing sector and the 96th consecutive month of expansion for the overall economy.

According to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing report on business, the May Purchasing Management Index was up 0.1% last month to 54.9%.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while a anything below that mark suggests contraction.

The New Orders Index rose 2% to 59.5%, while the Production Index, with a reading of 57.1%, dipped 1.5%.

The Employment Index was up 1.5% to 53.5%, and the Inventories Index inched up 0.5% to 51.5%.

With a decline of 8% to 60.5%, the Prices Index shows higher raw materials prices for the 15th consecutive month, but at a slower rate than in April.

Industry performance

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, the following15 reported growth in May:

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

Two industries reported contraction in May:

  1. Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and
  2. Textile Mills.

All in all, the report generally reflects stable to growing business conditions, while the slowing of pricing pressure should have a positive impact on profits and buying policies.


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