Firms responding to the May Business Outlook Survey indicated that manufacturing growth fell back from the pace of recent months. The survey’s broad indicators for general activity fell into negative territory for the first time in eight months. Indicators for new orders and employment also suggested slight declines from April. Input price pressures were less in evidence this month, and for the first time in nine months, more firms reported price declines for their products than reported increases. The survey’s indicators of future activity remained positive but weakened considerably from April.
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