A slowdown was seen in new orders (51.7 from 57.4 in March), production (52.3 from 55.8) and employment (52.4 from 57.5). Also, new export orders fell into contraction territory (49.5 from 51.7) and prices eased (50 from 54.3). Meanwhile, inventories (52.9 from 51.8), backlogs of orders (53.9 from 50.4), and supplier deliveries (54.6 from 54.2) rose at a faster pace.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 13 reported growth in April, in the following order: Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Printing & Related Support Activities; Chemical Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; and Fabricated Metal Products. The five industries reporting contraction in April are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Primary Metals; Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Transportation Equipment.