U.S. Manufacturing Index Slumps To Eleven-Year Low In April

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Manufacturing activity in the U.S. continued to contract in the month of April, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Friday.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index slumped to 41.5 in April from 49.1 in March, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in manufacturing activity.

The manufacturing index showed a notable decrease compared to the previous month but still came in above economist estimates for a reading of 36.9.

With the decline, the purchasing managers index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 39.9 in April of 2009.

“The coronavirus pandemic and global energy market weakness continue to impact all manufacturing sectors for the second straight month,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

The decrease by the headline index came as the new orders plunged to 27.1 in April from 42.2 in March and the production index plummeted to 27.5 from 47.7.

The employment index also showed a nosedive to 27.5 in April from 43.8 in March, hitting its lowest level since June of 1949.

The report said the prices index also fell to 35.3 in April from 37.4 in March, indicating a continued decrease in prices.

Next Tuesday, the ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on activity in the service sector in the month of April.

The ISM’s non-manufacturing index is expected to plunge to 32.0 in April from 52.5 in March, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in service sector activity.


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