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PMI Improves Modestly in May

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Economic conditions in the manufacturing sector contracted again in May, though sentiment improved modestly compared with the previous month, the nation’s purchasing managers indicated in the latest PMI Report from the Institute for Supply Management. The May PMI was 43.1 percent, up 1.6 percentage points from the April reading.

Other indices also grew in May, but remained at low levels. The New Orders Index increased 4.7 percentage points to 31.8 percent, the Production Index was up 5.7 percentage points to 33.2 percent and the Employment Index registered 32.1 percent, an increase of 4.6 percentage points.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, six reported growth in May, though none connected to the industrial metals space. Eleven industries reported contraction, including fabricated metal products, primary metals, machinery, appliances and components and miscellaneous manufacturing.

The PMI of 43.1 percent is above the normal level indicating economic expansion, after dipping into recessionary conditions in May. That was the first time in 131 months the economy failed to grow.

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