U.S. Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Edges Lower In May

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted at a slightly faster rate in the month of May, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday.

The ISM said its manufacturing PMI edged down to 48.7 in May from 49.2 in April, with a reading below 50 indicating contraction. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 49.6.

The unexpected decrease by the headline index partly reflected a faster contraction in new orders, as the new orders index fell to 45.4 in May from 49.1 in April.

The production index also slipped to 50.2 in May from 51.3 in April, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth.

Meanwhile, the ISM said the employment index rose to 51.1 in May from 48.6 in April, indicating a rebound by employment during the month.

The report also said the prices index slid to 57.0 in May from 60.9 in April, suggesting a slowdown in the pace of price growth.

On Wednesday, the ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on service sector activity in the month of May. The services PMI is expected to rise to 50.5 in May from 49.4 in April, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

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