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Manufacturing Growth Slows Again in May

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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May, and the overall economy grew for the 121st consecutive month, reports the Institute for Supply Management in its latest Manufacturing   Report On Business. The PMI was at 52.1 percent, a decline of 0.7 percentage points from the April figure and the lowest reading since October 2016.

Among other indices, the New Orders Index was at 52.7 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from the prior month; the Production Index declined 1 percent to 51.3 percent; and the Employment Index was at 53.7 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from April.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in May, including machinery, appliances and components, and miscellaneous manufacturing. Fabricated metal products and primary metals were among the six industries reporting contraction.

The May PMI of 52.1 percent corresponds to a 2.7 percent increase in real GDP annually, said Timothy Fiore, chairman of the Tempe, Ariz.-based ISM.

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