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US factory activity shrinks in April: survey

US industrial output falls in June for second straight month
Source: Pixabay

US manufacturing activity edged down last month, slipping back into contraction according to an industry survey released Wednesday, on the back of cooling demand.

The country’s manufacturing sector has shown weakness after the US central bank rapidly lifted interest rates in recent years to rein in runaway inflation.

But factory activity expanded in March for the first time since September 2022.

In April, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index dropped back below the 50-point mark separating expansion from contraction.

The index came in at 49.2 percent last month, well below March’s reading of 50.3 percent.

This was also lower than analyst expectations of a 50.0 percent figure, according to

“Demand remains at the early stages of recovery, with continuing signs of improving conditions,” said ISM survey chief Timothy Fiore in a statement.

The new orders index fell back into contraction while output as measured by the production and employment indexes “moderated compared to March,” said the ISM report.

Fiore added that although suppliers still have capacity, they are working to improve lead times due to supply chain disruptions for raw materials.

“Conditions are improving as demand is starting to recover,” said a survey respondent in the chemical products industry.

But the respondent added: “Costs continue to be a major concern as suppliers that rapidly increased prices in the follow-up from Covid-19 are slow to return to pre-pandemic levels.”


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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