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Economic Report: ISM manufacturing index shows stronger activity in May

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The numbers: The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing PMI, a closely followed index of U.S.-based manufacturing activity, rose to 56.1% in May from 55.4% in the prior month, the research group said Wednesday.

Given the weakness in the regional manufacturing surveys, economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a decline to 54.5%.

 Any number above 50% signifies growth. The index has been above the breakeven rate for two years.

Key details: The index for new orders rose 1.6 percentage points to 55.1% in May. Employment slumped 1.3 percentage points to 49.6%. Prices fell 2.4 percentage points to 82.2%.

Big picture: Manufacturing improved even though global supply chains have dampened activity.

Another measure of manufacturing, the S&P Global U.S. manufacturing PMI, fell to 57 in May, its lowest level in four months. That’s down from 59.2 in April and a “flash” May reading of 57.5. Cost inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in six months even though delivery delays were the least widespread in 16 months.

Market reaction: Stocks
DJIA,
-0.43%

SPX,
-0.44%

turned lower after the data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
2.912%

ticked higher.

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