Manufacturing Expansion at 6-Month Low

After a midmonth estimate put manufacturing expansion at a six-month low, April's final numbers don't look much better, according to a Markit report (link opens a PDF) released today.

The Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell 4.6% to 52.1 for April, compared to March's 54.6 reading and a previous April "flash" estimate of 52. Analysts' expectations of a 52 reading were essentially on-the-dot.

Although an above-50 reading signals improvements from the preceding month, this latest report signals the weakest expansion since October 2012.


Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson made the following remarks in a statement today:

The PMI survey suggests that the economy is showing signs of yet another 'spring swoon' as it moves into the second quarter, linked to a softening of demand in the home market. Manufacturers had reported the best quarter for two years in the first three months of the year, but a steep downturn in growth of orders in April suggests that this impressive performance could be shortlived. Firms have responded quickly to weaker growth of orders by limiting growth of both output and employment.

Despite new order growth rates hitting a six-month low, there are some reasons for optimism. Williamson pointed to steady growth in export orders (a 51.8 for March and April) as well as further "easing" of inflationary pressures as ways to keep manufacturing demand high and the economy in full recovery mode.

link

The article Manufacturing Expansion at 6-Month Low originally appeared on Fool.com.

Y ou can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Investing in Real Estate

Learn the basics of investing in real estate.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum