Manufacturing shows signs of stablizing

ISM factory index creeps closer to 50 and orders are up for the first time in 2009
By Bob Vavra June 2, 2009

The Insitute for Supply Management’s factory index continued its climb back toward the expansion number of 50 in May, rising from 40.1 to 42.8. While any number beflow 50 is considered a contraction, the number has steadily increased from a low in the mid-30s last year.

Another encouraging sign is the increase in orders, which rose above the 50 level for the first time in 2009. The new orders measure rose from 47.2 to 51.1, indicating expansion in that sector of the report.

Still, the index stayed below 50 for the 16th straight month.