ISM Manufacturing continues to show healthy expansion, although down a bit from previous months.  (Any reading over 50 is expansionary) Some of that slowdown might be blamed on the situation in Japan.  Consensus for this month was a slowdown to 59.5, so the 60.4 was better than expected.  Pricing pressure continues in the supply chain. While manufacturing is only about 11% of U.S. output, and 9% of employment, this has been an area of strength during the past few years.

Original source:

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ...
  • Rapidly rising raw material costs putting extreme pressure on profits. (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • Plastic resin product prices are climbing so fast that [suppliers] are attempting to increase prices on orders already accepted but not [yet] delivered. (Chemical Products)
  • Customers are rebuilding safety stock levels of inventory, and also trying to buy ahead of material price increases. (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • Market continues to get stronger month over month. Recovery is faster than anticipated. (Transportation Equipment)
  • Pressure from offshore suppliers continues to mount with exchange rate increases and seasonal demand for capacity. (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE

APRIL 2011

Index

Series

Index

April

Series

Index

March

Percentage

Point

Change

Direction

Rate

of

Change

Trend*

(Months)

PMI60.461.2-0.8GrowingSlower21
New Orders61.763.3-1.6GrowingSlower22
Production63.869.0-5.2GrowingSlower23
Employment62.763.0-0.3GrowingSlower19
Supplier Deliveries60.263.1-2.9SlowingSlower23
Inventories53.647.4+6.2GrowingFrom Contracting1
Customers' Inventories40.539.5+1.0Too LowSlower25
Prices85.585.0+0.5IncreasingFaster22
Backlog of Orders61.052.5+8.5GrowingFaster4
Exports62.056.0+6.0GrowingFaster22
Imports55.556.5-1.0GrowingSlower20
OVERALL ECONOMYGrowingSlower23
Manufacturing SectorGrowingSlower21

*Number of months moving in current direction.