Friday, June 01, 2012

ISM Manufacturing index declines in May to 53.5

by Bill McBride on 6/01/2012 10:00:00 AM

I'll have more on the employment report soon. PMI was at 53.5% in May, down from 54.8% in April. The employment index was at 56.9%, down from 57.3%, and new orders index was at 60.1%, up from 58.2%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: May 2012 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 34th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 36th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 53.5 percent, a modest decrease of 1.3 percentage points from April's reading of 54.8 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 34th consecutive month. The New Orders Index continued its growth trend for the 37th consecutive month, registering 60.1 percent in May. This represents an increase of 1.9 percentage points from April and also the highest level recorded by the index since April 2011. The Prices Index for raw materials fell to 47.5 percent in May, dropping 13.5 percentage points from April, indicating lower prices for the first time since December 2011. Comments from the panel generally reflect stable-to-strong orders, with sales showing steady improvement over the first five months of 2012."
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

This was below expectations of 54.0%. This suggests manufacturing expanded at a slower rate in May than in April.

Although this was slightly weaker than expected, new orders were up and prices were down. Not all bad.