American manufacturing activity slows in April

U.S. manufacturing growth slows in April in the wake of federal budget sequestration.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Ariz., USA) reported on May 1 that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 47th consecutive month. ISM's index registerd 50.7 percent for April. A reading of more than 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; less than 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The PMI registered 50.7 percent, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from March’s reading of 51.3 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the fifth consecutive month, but at the lowest rate of the year. The New Orders Index increased in April by 0.9 percentage point to 52.3 percent, and the Production Index increased by 1.3 percentage points to 53.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points compared to March’s reading of 54.2 percent. The Prices Index registered 50 percent, decreasing 4.5 percentage points from March, indicating that overall raw materials prices remained unchanged from last month. Comments from the panel indicate a range of strong/steady growth, to flat/declining volumes, depending upon the particular industry.” 

Last 12 months:

  • April 2013: 50.7
  • March 2013: 51.3
  • February 2013: 54.2
  • January 2013: 53.1
  • December 2012: 50.7
  • November 2012: 49.5
  • October 2012: 51.7
  • September 2012: 51.5
  • August 2012: 49.6
  • July 2012: 49.8
  • June 2012: 49.7
  • May 2012: 53.5