ISM Manufacturing Index Flat In April But Hiring Turns Negative

MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. manufacturers grew slightly in April as new orders rose, but they also scaled back employment to the lowest level since fall 2009, a survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index was flat at 51.5%, below the 52.2% forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Stil, readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. Yet the employment gauge dropped 1.7 points to 48.3%, the lowest level since September 2009 as the economy was emerging from the Great Recession. The ISM's new-orders index rose to 53.5% from 51.8%, however. Fifteen of the industries tracked by ISM reported growth last month, up from just 10 in the prior month.

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