United States: Manufacturing activity continues to moderate in April
May 2, 2011
The ISM manufacturing index (PMI) decreased from 61.2% in March to 60.4% in April, which was slightly above market analysts' expectations of 59.5%. According to the index, manufacturing activity has been expanding uninterruptedly since August 2009, as a reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding, while a reading below 50% is indicative of a contraction. The slowdown suggested by the April figure reflected a deceleration in both the production and the new orders components, while intentions to hire improved somewhat over the previous month. Despite the moderation, the ISM result points to a strong first quarter for the industrial sector, with activity likely to gain momentum in the second quarter.