Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the ninth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 12th consecutive month, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday, May 3. According to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, ISM’s monthly index rose to a 60.4 reading from 59.6 in March, the fastest rate of growth as indicated by the PMI since June 2004 when the index hit 60.5 percent; figures of more than 50 indicate expansion, while those below that show contraction. Seventeen of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in April, with no industries reporting contraction for the month.
“Manufacturers continue to see extraordinary strength in new orders, as the New Orders Index has averaged 61.6 percent for the past 10 months,” says Norbert J. Ore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The signs for employment in the sector continue to improve, as the Employment Index registered its fifth consecutive month of growth. Overall, the recovery in manufacturing continues quite strong, and the signs are positive for continued growth.”