The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest reading in six months during April. At 52.0, the flash PMI index, which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies, was down from 54.6 in March and indicated a moderate improvement in overall manufacturing business conditions.
Manufacturers recorded higher production levels in April, but the rate of output growth slowed further from February’s near one-year peak. Overall, the latest increase in output was moderate and the weakest since last November.
The slower expansion in manufacturing production partly reflected the weakest rise in new orders for six months. Total new work intakes rose modestly in April and at a much slower pace than the 32-month high recorded in January. However, the weakness in new orders was largely confined to the domestic market, as new export work grew at a stronger rate than one month previously.
Manufacturing employment continued to rise in April, with a number of firms linking job creation to greater workloads. Although the overall increase in employee numbers was solid, it was nonetheless the weakest monthly rise since last November.