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U.S. manufacturing index unexpectedly inches higher in May

Staff writer ▼ | June 3, 2016
Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at a faster rate in the month of May, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) revealed.
U.S. manufacturing
Economic activity   ISM purchasing managers index rose to 51.3
The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 51.3 in May from 50.8 in April, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector.

The modest increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to edge down to a reading of 50.6.

The unexpected uptick by the index came as twelve of the eighteen manufacturing industries reported growth in May.

However, the report also showed a slight slowdown in the pace of growth in new orders, as the new orders index slipped to 55.7 in May from 55.8 in April.

The production index also dropped to 52.6 in May from 54.2 in April, while the employment index was unchanged from the previous month at 49.2.

Meanwhile, the ISM said the prices index jumped to 63.5 in May from 59.0 in April, indicating higher raw materials prices for the third consecutive month.

The supply management organization is scheduled to release a separate report on Friday on activity in the service sector in May.

The index of activity in the service sector is expected to dip to 55.5 in May after climbing 1.2 points to 55.7 in April.