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Today, the Institute for Supply Management released its latest report on business for the manufacturing sector that indicated manufacturing activity declined in April. At 50.7, the purchasing manager's composite index (PMI) declined 1.17% since March, and dropped 6.28% below the level seen a year earlier. That gave an indication of slowing manufacturing activity for the second consecutive month.

Respondents appear generally positive overall with many citing strong trends and steady pace:

  • "Business can be described as flat at best." (Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Products)
  • "Production is still strong; several new projects to support alternative energy." (Primary Metals)
  • "Slight uptick in business, but overall continuing slowdown in defense due to budget/sequester." (Computer and Electronic Products)
  • "We have concerns about safety of doing business in South Korea. Our largest customer and part owner is in South Korea." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances, and Components)
  • "Automotive demand remains firm." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "Business continues at a steady pace." (Machinery)
  • "General business conditions and industrial markets remain strong." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Seasonal pick-up underway in the office furniture industry." (Furniture and Related Products)
  • "Market has slowed this month -- weather in some parts of the country, also customers built inventory in anticipation of building increase, but the economy is still slow to pick up this spring." (Wood Products)
  • "Overall, volume is steady or slightly declining. Q1 sales volume is lower than projected." (Chemical Products)

Source: ISM Manufacturing Report On Business: April 2013