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US manufacturing and new export orders came up short in April while Eurozone economic news was more upbeat.

By Frederick Baehner, Publisher


May 12, 2024 - Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in April while the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) decreased to 49.2% from 50.3% in March, said the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business.


US new export orders receded to a reading of 47.9% under March’s 52.7%, while imports rose to 53.6% over that of 52.4% in March. Any number of 50.0 or above indicates growth.


In the Heartland overall business conditions improved, but trade languished.


After two straight months of below growth neutral, the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, climbed above the 50.0 growth neutral threshold for April.


Overall Index: The Business Conditions Index, which uses the identical methodology as the ISM Report on Business, and ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, increased to 52.5%. This was the highest since September 2023, from March’s 49.6% and represents the third time in the past five months that the index has risen above growth neutral.

Ernie Goss, PhD
Ernie Goss, PhD

“The overall index, much like the US reading, has vacillated around growth neutral for the last five months. Additionally, supply managers remained pessimistic regarding the 2024 outlook with approximately 45% expecting a recession in the second half of  2024,” said Ernie Goss PhD, director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group and the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics in the Heider College of Business.

Trade: “The rising value of the dollar, making US goods less competitively priced abroad is hurting exports.  As a result, export numbers worsened for the month with new export orders sinking to 42.9% from March’s 53.9%. April’s import reading climbed to a weak 47.4% from 44.2% in March,” said Prof Goss.


Eurozone News

Meanwhile in the Eurozone, producer prices were down by 0.4% in March, investor confidence improved, the composite PMI was up to its highest in 11 months, and Germany’s private sector expanded in April, according to the most recent ECONOMY report.


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