April manufacturing expanded, exports and imports contracted

May 2, 2019 – Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April, and the overall US economy grew for the 120th consecutive month, but both new export orders and imports contracted say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.


Manufacturing itself expanded in April, as the ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 52.8 percent, a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the March reading of 55.3 percent. “This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 32nd consecutive month. (The PMI is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.)

“The PMI reversed a March expansion improvement, thanks to decreases in new orders, production expansion and employment. The PMI achieved its lowest level of expansion since October 2016, when the index registered 51.7 percent,” said Timothy Fiore, ISM Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. A reading above 50 percent indicates growth below 50 percent indicates contraction.

New Export Orders slid 49.5 percent in April, 2.2 percentage points lower compared to the March reading of 51.7 percent, indicating that new export orders contracted after 37 consecutive months of growth. Many respondents reported Europe as a source of lower demand.
Imports fell 49.8 percent in April, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points when compared to the 51.1 percent reported for March, indicating that imports contracted in April after 26 consecutive months of growth.

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