After just one month of improvement, U.S. manufacturing slumps again in April

TEMPE, Ariz. – After expanding for just one month in March, U.S. manufacturing returned to contraction in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s latest report. The monthly index recorded a 49.2%, down 1.1% from March.

Before the one-month gain in March, American manufacturing had seen 16 months of decline, the longest downturn since 2008’s Great Recession.

“The U.S. manufacturing sector dropped back into contraction after growing in March, the first time since Sept. 2022 that the sector reported expansion,” said Timothy R. Fiore, ISM chairman. “Although demand improvement slowed, output remains positive and inputs stayed accommodative. Demand softening was reflected by new orders dropping back into contraction, but offset by fewer comments regarding ‘softening.’

“Panelists’ companies slightly increased their production levels month over month, and head-count reductions continued (but showed signs of easing) in April. Suppliers continue to have capacity but work to improve lead times, due to raw material supply chain disruptions.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries recognized by the ISM, nine reported overall growth and seven reported contraction. Furniture again contracted, now having shrunk every month since last August.

Furniture saw no change in new orders from March, when it was one of just two industries to report a decline. It also reported no change in production output, also having reported a decline in March.

Seven of 18 industries reported a decline in employment, including furniture. Furniture reported lower inventories for the month, similarly to March. Furniture reported paying more for raw materials for the month, in contrast with March when it paid less.

See also:

  • U.S. manufacturing expands for the first time in 16 months
  • U.S. manufacturing continues to slump – and at a faster pace

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