After six months of consecutive contraction in the US manufacturing sector, the April Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business indicates a slight improvement in the purchasing managers index, rising to a reading of 47.1%. This indicates that economic activity is still declining, however, as readings below 50% typically show contraction.

According to Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, of the five subindexes that directly factor into the Manufacturing PMI, only one – Employment – is in growth territory. April’s reading of 50.2% for employment marks an increase from March’s figure of 46.9%. Fiore went on to explain that this indicates near parity between hiring and staffing reduction. Additionally, he noted that turnover rates have recorded their lowest levels since measurements began in mid-2021, indicating an improving hiring environment for those companies increasing their headcounts.