Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that economic activity continued to expand in June and at a faster pace than in May while most other measures strengthened.
At 55.3 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) declined a whopping 11.42% since April and increased 3.36% above the level seen a year earlier.
Some respondents indicated increasing pressure on prices as higher energy prices stocked inflationary forces as well as weak economic trends and Japan earthquake related disruptions:
"We continue to see inflation, though at a reduced rate [compared] to earlier months." (Chemical Products)
"Slight slowdown in overall business in both domestic and international markets, although still above 2010 at the same time." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
"The earthquake and related issues in Japan have caused shortages of some automotive equipment, negatively impacting global automotive production." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Sales continue to be stronger than expected across both retail and industrial channels. Material costs are definitely rising and will force increases to end-use customers." (Paper Products)
"High commodity prices continue to be worrisome." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"Business is still up and down, with no real upside potential for us until the housing market rebounds." (Furniture & Related Products)
"Customers are still being cautious with their buying. Certain plastics and metal prices continue to rise." (Machinery)