Slower growth in new orders, production lowers May PMI

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IsmEconomic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 22nd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 24th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, released Wednesday, June 1.

The PMI for May registered 53.5 percent, and while readings above 50 percent generally indicate growth, May’s PMI was 6.9 percentage points below the April reading of 60.4 percent and was the first reading below 60 percent for 2011, as well as the lowest PMI reported for the past 12 months.

Slower growth in new orders and production – the component indexes of most interest to trucking companies – were the primary contributors to May’s PMI reading, says Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

ISM’s New Orders Index registered 51 percent in May, a decrease of 10.7 percentage points when compared to the 61.7 percent reported in April. ISM’s Production Index registered 54 percent in May, a decrease of 9.8 percentage points when compared to the April reading of 63.8 percent.

“Manufacturing employment continues to show good momentum for the year, as the Employment Index registered 58.2 percent, which is 4.5 percentage points lower than the 62.7 percent reported in April,” Holcomb says. “Manufacturers continue to experience significant cost pressures from commodities and other inputs.”