U.S. Manufacturing PMI® at 47.1%

April 2023 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®


  • New Orders and Production Contracting
  • Backlogs Contracting
  • Supplier Deliveries Faster
  • Raw Materials Inventories Contracting; Customers’ Inventories Too High
  • Prices Increasing; Exports and Imports Contracting


(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in April for the sixth consecutive month following a 28-month period of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee:

“The April Manufacturing PMI® registered 47.1 percent, 0.8 percentage point higher than the 46.3 percent recorded in March. Regarding the overall economy, this figure indicates a fifth month of contraction after a 30-month period of expansion. The New Orders Index remained in contraction territory at 45.7 percent, 1.4 percentage points higher than the figure of 44.3 percent recorded in March. The Production Index reading of 48.9 percent is a 1.1-percentage point increase compared to March’s figure of 47.8 percent. The Prices Index registered 53.2 percent, up 4 percentage points compared to the March figure of 49.2 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 43.1 percent, 0.8 percentage point lower than the March reading of 43.9 percent. The Employment Index elevated into expansion territory, registering 50.2 percent, up 3.3 percentage points from March’s reading of 46.9 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index figure of 44.6 percent is 0.2 percentage point lower than the 44.8 percent recorded in March; this is the index’s lowest reading since March 2009 (43.2 percent). The Inventories Index dropped 1.2 percentage points to 46.3 percent, lower than the March reading of 47.5 percent. The New Export Orders Index reading of 49.8 percent is 2.2 percentage points higher than March’s figure of 47.6 percent. The Imports Index remained in contraction territory, though just barely, at 49.9 percent, 2 percentage points above the 47.9 percent reported in March.”

Fiore continues, “The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted again; however, the Manufacturing PMI® improved compared to the previous month, indicating slower contraction. The April composite index reading reflects companies continuing to manage outputs to better match demand for the first half of 2023 and prepare for growth in the late summer/early fall period. Demand eased again, with the (1) New Orders Index contracting, but at a slower rate, (2) New Export Orders Index slightly below 50 percent but improving, (3) Customers’ Inventories Index entering the low end of ‘too high’ territory, a negative for future production and (4) Backlog of Orders Index continuing in strong contraction. Output/Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) was positive, with a combined 4.4-percentage point upward impact on the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. The Employment Index indicated slight expansion after two months of contraction, and the Production Index logged a fifth month in contraction territory, though at a slightly slower rate. Panelists’ comments continue to indicate near equal levels of activity toward expanding and contracting head counts at their companies, amid mixed sentiment about when significant growth will return. Inputs — defined as supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and imports — continue to accommodate future demand growth. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated faster deliveries, and the Inventories Index dropped further into contraction as panelists’ companies manage inventories exposure. The Prices Index moved back into ‘increasing’ territory, at a moderate level, after one month of marginally decreasing prices.


“Of the six biggest manufacturing industries, only two — Petroleum & Coal Products; and Transportation Equipment — registered growth in April.

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