Manufacturing Sector Growth Continues to Decline in April

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 52.8 points in April, down 2.5 percentage points from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. March’s reading indicates the one-hundred-and-twentieth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, thirteen reported growth, while five industries, Apparel, Leather & Allied Products, Primary Metals, Wood Products, Petroleum & Coal Products, and Transportation Equipment, reported contraction. Six of the eleven manufacturing index components registered acceleration of growth, while Supplier Deliveries registered declines in growth. New export Orders and Imports both contracted.

Employment Index registered 52.4 percent in April, a decrease of 5.1 percentage points when compared to the March reading of 57.5 percent. This indicates growth in employment in April for the 31st consecutive month. Nine industries reported expansion of employment, while five reported a decrease in employment.

New Orders Index registered 51.7 percent in April, which is a decrease of 5.7 percentage points when compared to the 57.4 percent reported for March, indicating growth in new orders for the 40th consecutive month. Fourteen  industries reported expansion, while three reported a decrease in new orders.

New Export Orders Index registered 49.5 percent in April, 2.2 percentage points lower compared to the March reading of 51.7 percent, indicating that new export orders contracted after 37 consecutive months of growth.

The Inventories Index registered 52.9 percent in April, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the 51.8 percent reported for March. “Inventories expanded for the 16th consecutive month and at marginally higher rates compared to the previous month.

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About Author

Hugo Dante

Hugo Dante is a research associate in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.