Economic activity in the manufacturing sector continued to rebound in April with the overall economy growing for the 11th consecutive month, according to the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
The April Manufacturing PMI registered 60.7%, a decrease of 4% from the March reading of 64.7%. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 11th month in a row after contraction in April 2020. The New Orders Index registered 64.3%, declining 3.7% from the March reading of 68%, according to Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
The Production Index registered 62.5%, which was a decrease of 5.6% compared to the March reading of 68.1%. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 68.2%, 0.7% higher when compared to 67.5% in March. The Employment Index registered 55.1%, which was 4.5% lower than the March reading of 59.6%. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 75%, down 1.6% points from the March figure of 76.6%.
The Inventories Index registered 46.5%, 4.3% lower than the March reading of 50.8%. The Prices Index registered 89.6%, which was a 4% increase when compared March’s 85.6%. The New Export Orders Index registered 54.9%, which was a slight increase of 0.4% compared to the March reading of 54.5%. The Imports Index came in at 52.2%, a 4.5% decrease from the March reading of 56.7%.
“The manufacturing economy continued expansion in April. Survey Committee Members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing rates of demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts limiting availability of parts and materials,” Fiore said. “Recent record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices and difficulties in transporting products are continuing to affect all segments of the manufacturing economy.
“Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to part shortages, and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues that limit manufacturing-growth potential.”
All 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in April, in the following order: Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Wood Products.