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US manufacturing index falls in May, reflects slowing economic expansion

June 03, 2019

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to a reading of 52.1 in May. Reuters reported the reading was the lowest in 2½ years. Respondents to the survey on which the index is based cited concerns with tariffs and a tight labor market.

However, readings above 50 still generally indicate expansion.

“Respondents expressed concern with the escalation in the US-China trade standoff, but overall sentiment remained predominantly positive,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The [Purchasing Managers Index] continues to reflect slowing expansion.”

And on the other hand, the employment portion of the index rose to a reading of 53.7 in May from 52.4 in April.

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