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U.S. Manufacturing Growth Slows

June 4, 2012 by Four Percent

Kathleen Madigan, Eric Morath, and Tom Barkley, Wall Street Journal The U.S. manufacturing sector slowed down a bit in May, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Supply Management. Price pressures plunged. Separate reports noted that Americans continued to modestly increase spending in April, while incomes grew more slowly. Meanwhile. spending on construction projects rose modestly in April. The ISM's manufacturing purchasing managers' index last month fell to 53.5 from 54.8 in April. A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected the May PMI to slip only to 53.9. The ISM report came out 90 minutes after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 69,000 new jobs were created in May, less than half the 155,000 forecasted by economists. Other economic data for May, including regional factory reports and consumer confidence, have come in weaker than expected. The BLS data showed 16,000 jobs were created in the factory sector last month. That dovetails with the ISM's own employment index. It fell slightly but remained expansionary at 56.9 from 57.3 in April. Other ISM indexes were mixed but still in expansion mode. Read More (Subscription Required)