Manufacturing slowed down last month, but it’s still growing. That’s the word from the supply executives who get polled for the Institute for Supply Management monthly Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
The Purchasing Managers Index “registered 53.5 percent and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 22nd consecutive month,” says ISM’s Bradley Holcomb. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
“This month’s index, however, registered 6.9 percentage points below the April reading of 60.4 percent, and is the first reading below 60 percent for 2011, as well as the lowest PMI reported for the past 12 months,” he says.
One problem, as most flatbedders know, is that housing continues to lag far behind manufacturing. That was evidenced by one of three manufacturing sectors — Furniture & Related Products — that contracted in May. The other two were Printing & Related Support Activities; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.
The good news is that 14 groups reported growth in May. They were, in order: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.