Growth in U.S. manufacturing activity slowed by more than anticipated in the month of April, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index dropped to 57.3 in April from 59.3 in March, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to dip to 58.3.
The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a notable decline by the production index, which slumped to 57.2 in April from 61.0 in March.
The employment index also slid to 54.2 in April from 57.3 in March, indicating a slowdown in the pace of job growth in the manufacturing sector.
The report said the new orders index also edged down to 61.2 in April from 61.9 in March, while the inventories index dropped to 52.9 from 55.5.
“Demand remains robust, but the nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
Meanwhile, the ISM said the prices index rose to 79.3 in April from 78.1 in March, suggesting a faster rate of price growth.
The ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on activity in the service sector in the month of April on Thursday.
The non-manufacturing index is expected to slip to 58.4 in April from 58.8 in March, indicating a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in the service sector.