Manufacturing Index Rises for 33rd Consecutive Month

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The Institute for Supply Managment (ISM) has released its purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for April showing a rise of 1.4% in the index, from 53.4% in March to 54.8% in April. An index reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing part of the US economy is expanding.

The ISM report also notes that the index measure of the overall economy has grown for the last 35 months in a row. The index readings for PMI, new orders, production, and employment grew at a faster rate in April than in March, with new orders rising for the 36th consecutive month and employment rising for the 31st month in a row. Only inventories and order backlogs contracted in April, while exports grew and imports remained the same.

The ISM’s reported growth bested a survey of economists who predicted that the index would fall to 53 in April. A main driver of the better performance was automobile manufacturing.