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While May manufacturing was down, US exports and imports increased.

By Frederick Baehner, Publisher


June 11, 2024 - Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in May for the second consecutive month and the 18th time in the last 19 months, according to the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.


“The Manufacturing PMI registered 48.7 percent in May, down 0.5 percentage point from the 49.2 percent recorded in April. The overall economy continued in expansion for the 49th month after one month of contraction in April 2020,” said Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management. 


The New Export Orders Index reading of 50.6 percent is 1.9 percentage points higher than the 48.7 percent registered in April. The Imports Index continued in expansion territory, registering 51.1 percent in May, 0.8 percentage point lower than April’s 51.9.


In America’s Heartland, it was a different story.

In the US Heartland comprising nine Midwestern states, the manufacturing sector fell for the month of May. The overall business conditions index sank for the third time in the past four months. the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, fell below the 50.0 growth neutral threshold for May.

Ernie Goss, PhD
Ernie Goss, PhD

“The rising value of the US dollar, making our goods less competitively priced abroad, is hurting Midwestern exports. As a result, export numbers worsened for the month of May with new export orders rising to a weak 46.7 from 42.9 in April. Despite the stronger dollar, the slowing regional economy pulled the import reading down to 41.2 from 47.4 in April.” said Prof Goss.


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