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U.S. Manufacturing Begins Rebound from April Trough

U.S. manufacturing activity began to rebound in May after reaching an 11-year low in April. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its survey of national factory activity rose to a reading of 43.1 last month, following April’s sharp contraction to 41.5 that ended 131 consecutive months of growth. Any reading below 50 for the Purchasing Managers Index, which is based on a survey of manufacturers, indicates contraction.

“The coronavirus pandemic impacted all manufacturing sectors for the third straight month,” said ISM’s Timothy Fiore. “May appears to be a transition month, as many panelists and their suppliers returned to work late in the month.

However, he added, “demand remains uncertain, likely impacting inventories, customer inventories, employment, imports and backlog of orders.”

Of the 18 industries measured by the PMI, six reported growth. Among the largest sectors in the PMI, only the Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products sector is expanding.

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