Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity improved in April.
At 54.8 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) rose 2.62% since March remaining 8.21% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents indicated that while there is still some slowness and caution, outlook was overall positive going forward:
"We expect our production levels to remain at the current level or increase over the next quarter." (Chemical Products)
"In general, demand remains strong for products, and we [are experiencing] more supply disruptions now than four to five months ago." (Machinery)
"The economy was off to a good start through the first quarter, but the European issues keep coming up as well as the recent disappointing jobs report. It appears that some of the early gains may be temporary." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Warm weather in Midwest appears to have helped soft drink sales." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"Positive increase in volume of sales and orders, and slight uptick in inventories, indicate the overall outlook remains robust through summer at least." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
"Sales are slowing." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Business conditions on a national scale have a very positive outlook for the commercial metals we provide. At this point, we have outperformed each quarter's goal and anticipate a strong finish." (Primary Metals)
"Strong demand [compared to] previous year." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
"Business indicators suggest a stronger stability in overall environment. Production and orders are stable." (Transportation Equipment)
"Business conditions continue to improve." (Furniture & Related Products)