Friday, May 01, 2015

ISM Manufacturing index unchanged at 51.5 in April

by Bill McBride on 5/01/2015 10:01:00 AM

The ISM manufacturing index suggested sluggish expansion in April. The PMI was at 51.5% in April, unchanged from 51.5% in March. The employment index was at 48.3%, down from 50.0% in March, and the new orders index was at 53.5%, up from 51.8%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: April 2015 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 28th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 71st 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® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The April PMI® registered 51.5 percent, the same reading as in March. The New Orders Index registered 53.5 percent, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the reading of 51.8 percent in March. The Production Index registered 56 percent, 2.2 percentage points above the March reading of 53.8 percent. The Employment Index registered 48.3 percent, 1.7 percentage points below the March reading of 50 percent, reflecting contracting employment levels from March. Inventories of raw materials registered 49.5 percent, a decrease of 2 percentage points from the March reading of 51.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 40.5 percent, 1.5 percentage points above the March reading of 39 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the sixth consecutive month. While the March and April PMI® were equal, both registering 51.5 percent, 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in April while only 10 industries reported growth in March, indicating a broader distribution of growth in April among the 18 industries."
emphasis added
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

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

This was below expectations of 52.0%, but still indicates expansion in April.