The April ISM Manufacturing Index was released this morning, and not only was the report stronger than expected (54.8 vs. 53.0), it was also the highest monthly reading since June 2011. So much for the economy slowing down...at least for today.
The table below shows the various sub-components of the ISM Manufacturing report and where they stand with respect to their readings last month and last year. Compared to last month, all but two sub-components (Backlog Orders and Business Inventories) were unchanged or higher. The employment component of the index rose to 57.3 from last month's 56.1 reading, which provides some encouragement for this Friday's employment report. Compared to last year, however, this month's readings were less robust. Last year at this time, the only subcomponents of the index that were lower than they are now were Production and Customer Inventories.
Below we show long-term charts of each of the sub-components listed above.