Manufacturing in U.S. Settles In at Solid Pace of Expansion ni
American factories are settling back into a solid pace of expansion after a post-election run-up that saw the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing gauge hit an almost three-year high, figures released Thursday showed.
Highlights of ISM Manufacturing (May)
• Factory index little changed at 54.9 (est. 54.8) from
54.8 in April; readings above 50 indicate growth
• ISM’s gauge of new orders increased to 59.5 from 57.5
• Measure of production eased, while employment index picked up
Stronger orders growth represents resilient sales that will keep manufacturing driving forward. Factory managers have registered more optimism about conditions so far in 2017 amid steady domestic demand and global growth that looks more promising. The ISM’s employment figures are consistent with projections that the Labor Department on Friday will report a pickup in factory payrolls.
Stable overseas demand is helping to keep a floor under export orders. The Chinese government’s Purchasing Managers’ Index showed expansion in May for a 10th month after shrinking in most of the prior 10 months.
The ISM figures indicate manufacturing growth is staying robust even as expectations fade for a near-term fiscal boost, including through tax reform, from Washington lawmakers.
• Measure of export orders cooled to 57.5 in May from 59.5
• Employment gauge increased to 53.5 from 52
• Production index eased to 57.1 from 58.6
• A gauge of factory inventories was little changed at
51.5, while customer stockpiles barely shrank
• Order backlogs measure fell to 55 from 57
• Index of prices paid dropped to 60.5 from 68.5