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Manufacturing contracted in May for the first time since November 2012, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
The Purchasing Managers Index from the Institute for Supply Management registered 49 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from April’s reading of 50.7 percent, indicating contraction in manufacturing.
The reading is at its lowest level since June 2009, when it registered 45.8 percent. The New Orders Index decreased in May by 3.5 percentage points to 48.8 percent, and the Production Index decreased by 4.9 percentage points to 48.6 percent.
The Employment Index registered 50.1 percent, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage point compared to April's reading of 50.2 percent. The Prices Index registered 49.5 percent, decreasing 0.5 percentage point from April, indicating that overall raw materials prices decreased from last month.
Several comments from the ISM panel indicate a flattening or softening in demand due to a sluggish economy, both domestically and globally.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 10 are reporting growth in May in the following order: Printing & Related Support Activities; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; and Paper Products. The six industries reporting contraction in May — listed in order — are: Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Primary Metals.
Get more details at www.ism.ws.