Manufacturing activity declined in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management's latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector.
At 50.7 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) declined 1.17% since March and dropped 6.28% below the level seen a year earlier giving an indication of slowing manufacturing activity for the second consecutive month.
Respondents appear generally positive overall with many citing strong trends and steady pace:
"Business can be described as flat at best." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"Production is still strong; several new projects to support alternative energy." (Primary Metals)
"Slight uptick in business, but overall continuing slowdown in defense due to budget/sequester." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Automotive demand remains firm." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Business continues at a steady pace." (Machinery)
"General business conditions and industrial markets remain strong." (Transportation Equipment)
"Seasonal pick-up underway in the office furniture industry." (Furniture & Related Products)
"Market has slowed this month — weather in some parts of the country, also customers built inventory in anticipation of building increase, but the economy is still slow to pick up this spring." (Wood Products)
"Overall, volume is steady or slightly declining. Q1 sales volume is lower than projected." (Chemical Products)