Business of Engineering

Manufacturing index stays strong in April

The purchasing manufacturers' index hits 60.7% in April as new orders, production and employment continue to grow for manufacturing.

By Chris Vavra May 4, 2021
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology

While not reaching the highs of the previous, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) purchasing manufacturers’ index (PMI) stayed above 60% once again, registering at 60.7%. The overall economy has recorded its 11th consecutive month of growth, putting the sharp dip due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror. New orders and production declined in April compared to much, but still stayed comfortably above 60%, indicating overall growth. Employment also dropped by almost 5 points to 55.1%, but this still indicates growth for the manufacturing index.

Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in a press release: “The manufacturing economy continued expansion in April. Survey Committee Members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing rates of demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts limiting availability of parts and materials. Recent record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices and difficulties in transporting products are continuing to affect all segments of the manufacturing economy. Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to part shortages, and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues that limit manufacturing-growth potential.”

All 18 manufacturing industries recorded growth in April. Electrical equipment, appliances and components, textiles, furniture and machinery led the way.

“Manufacturing performed well for the 11th straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering strong growth compared to March. Labor-market difficulties at panelists’ companies and their suppliers persist. End-user lead times (for refilling customers’ inventories) are extending. This is due to very high demand and output restrictions, as supply chains continue to respond to strong demand amid COVID-19 impacts,” Fiore said.


Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Chris Vavra is the web content manager for CFE Media.