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Manufacturing slows, construction zooms

The index used to measure manufacturing activity in the U.S. declined in April, indicating a cooling economy. The I...


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May 5, 2005 by Canadian Plastics

The index used to measure manufacturing activity in the U.S. declined in April, indicating a cooling economy. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index measured 53.3 in April, down from March’s 55.2 reading. The manufacturing sector’s performance left the index at its lowest level since July 2003, although it means the sector expanded for the 23rd consecutive month. A reading of 50 or above in the index means the sector is expanding.
Economists believe the report is consistent with some moderation in the economy ahead of the expected short-term interest rate increases.
Also this week, The U.S. Commerce Department said construction spending rose 0.5% to a record level in March, as strong building activity at offices and shopping malls helped offset a slowdown in housing construction. The increase pushed total construction activity to a seasonably adjusted annual rate of $1.05 trillion, an all-time high.