Manufacturing Expands for Second Consecutive Month

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 50.8 points in April – down 1.0 point from March’s reading of 51.8. However, the manufacturing industry is still growing, as readings above 50 indicate expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, eleven reported growth, while four reported contraction.

The employment index registered 49.2 points, marking the fifth consecutive month of contraction. Eleven industries including wood products, textile mills and printing and related support activities, reported expansion. Five industries including apparel, leather and allied products and petroleum and coal products, reported contraction.

The index of new orders registered 55.8 points in April, down 2.5 points. Fifteen industries reported growth in new orders, while only textile mills reported contraction.

Export orders rose 0.5 points to 55.2, the highest reading since December 2014. Eight industries, including wood products and chemical products reported increased exports, while four industries reported a decline in export orders.

The inventories index fell 1.5 points to 45.5. Inventories contracted in April for the tenth consecutive month.

Read the ISM release.