Manufacturing growth slows nationally in April

Dip matches slight decline in Milwaukee area activity

manufacturing activity

The pace of growth nationally in the manufacturing sector slowed in April, but remained in positive territory, according to the latest Institute for Supply Management Report on Business.

manufacturing activity

The April PMI registered 54.8 percent, down from 57.5 percent in March.

A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

The Marquette-ISM Milwaukee-area PMI, which was released last week also showed a slight slowdown in the pace of growth. The two reports use a similar methodology, but are not directly comparable.

The national report did find an increase in production, which increased from 57.6 percent to 58.6 percent.

Prices continued to increase but the pace slowed somewhat. New orders, employment and order backlog all remained in positive territory but the pace of growth in each slowed.

Inventories went from contracting to growing, supplier deliveries became slower and customer inventories continued to be too low.

Comments from respondents were generally positive with a few mentioning upward pressures on prices.

“Our business and outlook are (strong). We are seeing price increases from suppliers in many categories,” a plastics and rubber products respondent said.

A fabricated metal products respondent said business is improving and profit margins are increasing while a respondent in miscellaneous manufacturing said there is ongoing market strength.

“While world/political headlines cause personal anxiety, business conditions remain solid,” the latter respondent said.

Read more at the BizTracker page.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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