Growth indices up in April

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 33rd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 35th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business released Tuesday, May 1.

The Production Manufacturing Index registered 54.8 percent, an increase of 1.4 percentage points when compared to March’s reading of 53.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy generally is expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it generally is contracting. A PMI in excess of 42.6 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy.

ISM’s New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent in April, an increase of 3.7 percentage points when compared to the March reading of 54.5 percent; this represents a continuation of growth for the 36th consecutive month and at a faster rate than in March. A New Orders Index above 52.3 percent, over time, generally is consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau’s series on manufacturing orders.

ISM’s Production Index registered 61 percent in April, an increase of 2.7 percentage points when compared to the 58.3 percent reported in March; this indicates growth for the 35th consecutive month. An index above 51.2 percent, over time, generally is consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures.

“Sixteen of the 18 industries reflected overall growth in April,” said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. The Prices Index for raw materials remained at 61 percent in April, the same rate as reported in March, Holcomb said. “Comments from the panel generally indicate stable to strong demand, with some concerns cited over increasing oil prices and European stability.”

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