ISM Manufacturing Cruises Even Higher

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The most recent Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing report points to stronger conditions for a sector that looks to be picking up steam. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May, and the overall economy grew for the 109th consecutive month.

The number for May came in at 58.7, just slightly higher than Bloomberg’s 58.5 consensus estimate. The reading for the month of April was 57.3.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • The New Orders Index registered 63.7 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the April reading of 61.2.
  • The Production Index registered 61.5 percent, a 4.3 percentage point increase compared to the April reading of 57.2 percent.
  • The Employment Index registered 56.3 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the April reading of 54.2 percent.
  • The Inventories Index registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the April reading of 52.9 percent.

One major standout in the report was that the Prices Index registered 79.5% in May, a 0.2 percentage point increase from the April reading of 79.3%, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 27th consecutive month. The Prices Index is at its highest level since April 2011, when it registered 82.6.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries polled, 16 reported growth in May. No industry reported a decrease in PMI in May compared to April.