It provides data on new orders, production, employment, inventories, and supplier deliveries.

Today’s news confirms the bleak outlook for US manufacturing, as the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index shows that economic activity in the sector contracted for the sixth consecutive month in April. Timothy Fiore, the Chair of the Institute’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, noted that only one of the five sub-indexes that influence the index – employment – was in growth territory. Yet even here, sentiment expressed by companies showed near parity between hiring and staffing reductions. The index’s data on new orders, production, inventories, and supplier deliveries all pointed to a continued decline in the manufacturing sector. It’s clear that the current outlook is a difficult one for US manufacturers, and that further effort is needed to return the sector to a state of growth.