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Industrial Inflation Index: March 2011

Manufacturing Expands, But at Slower Pace in May

The manufacturing sector expanded in May, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The PMI registered 53.5 percent and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 22nd consecutive month. May's index registered 6.9 percentage points below the April reading of 60.4 percent, and is the first reading below 60 percent for 2011, as well as the lowest PMI reported for the past 12 months.

Slower growth in new orders and production are the primary contributors to the lower PMI reading, according to the ISM. Manufacturing employment continues to show good momentum for the year, as the Employment Index registered 58.2 percent, which is 4.5 percentage points lower than the 62.7 percent reported in April.

Manufacturers continue to experience significant cost pressures from commodities and other inputs, according to the report.

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

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