Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that economic activity continued to expand in May though at a sharply slower pace than in April and suggested that all measures saw a slowdown.
At 53.5 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) declined a whopping 11.42% since April and declined 7.44% below the level seen a year earlier.
Some respondents indicated increasing pressure on prices as higher energy prices stocked inflationary forces as well as poor results coming from bad weather:
"Chemical prices are under increasing cost pressure, driven by feedstock and transportation costs." (Chemical Products)
"Demand remains strong; however, inflation is evident everywhere in virtually every material purchased." (Paper Products)
"Bad weather is impacting retail business." (Printing & Related Support Activities)
"Business is still strong, but we are more aware of a possible softening than previously." (Machinery)