US Manufacturing Activity Picks Up in May

U.S. manufacturing activity picked up in May as demand for goods remains strong, which could further allay fears of an imminent recession.

The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers index increased to 56.1 in May from 55.4 in April, beating expectations of a small drop to 54.5.

ISM chairman Timothy Fiore said on Wednesday in a statement, “The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment.” Despite the employment sub-index falling below 50, he noted that “companies improved their progress on addressing moderate-term labor shortages at all tiers of the supply chain.”

Moderate-to-strong growth was seen in all six of the largest manufacturing sectors—machinery; computers and electronics; food; transportation equipment; petroleum and coal products; and chemicals.