Following on the heels of Wednesday's stronger than expected Chicago PMI, Thursday's ISM Manufacturing report also came in stronger than expected. While economists were forecasting a level of 54.2, the actual reading came in at 54.9, which was the best reading so far in 2014.
(click to enlarge)In addition to a strong headline reading, the internals of the April report were also positive. The table below shows the current levels of each component of the ISM Manufacturing report. Of the ten components, five increased this month, three declined, and two were unchanged. The component with the biggest increase this month was employment, which rose to 54.7 from 51.1. On the downside, Prices Paid saw the largest decline, so if you were worried about inflation, that decline should placate those concerns. Compared to last year at this time, the ISM Manufacturing report was even better, as nine out of ten components increased.