Business News

May 2, 11:14 AM EDT

Survey: US manufacturing grew again in April


AP Photo
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Latest Business News
Tesla Motors brushes off 1Q net loss, accelerates plans

Business Highlights

Whole Foods sales pinched as it preps for new '365' chain

Tesla Motors 1Q net loss widens on Model X woes

4 reasons why Aeropostale lost its cool with shoppers

Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Egypt extends suspension of capital gains tax

Survey: Growth at US services firms strengthened in April

Germany raises tax income forecast, bolstering budget plans

Eurozone growth in 'low gear' at start of second quarter

Puerto Rico skips bond payments, says Congress must help

Buffett praises Fed but warns of unintended consequences

Survey: US manufacturing grew again in April

Eurozone economy at a glance: 2008 and now

US economy struggles at start of election year

Japan central bank holds fire on fresh monetary stimulus

Interactives
Interactive about job growth
Quiz for Older Job Seekers
Who Has Lost the Jobs? A State by State Look
Interactives
Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. manufacturing expanded in April for the second straight month, suggesting that factories are adapting to a strong dollar and economic weakness overseas, according to a private survey.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 50.8 last month, down from March's 51.8 reading but above the 50 threshold that signals growth. The March number had snapped a five-month losing streak for manufacturers.

Export orders grew faster in April. Still, the index came in below economists' expectations, and new orders and production grew more slowly last month than they did in March. A measure of employment fell, suggesting that factories are cutting workers.

Eleven of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth last month, and 15 reported increases in new orders and production. "This morning's report brings another welcome sign of stabilization for the US manufacturing sector," Barclays economist Rob Martin wrote in a research report.

The dollar surged last year, but has fallen since January, giving American factories some relief. A strong dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive in foreign markets. Bradley Holcomb, chair of ISM's manufacturing survey committee, expects manufacturing to show resiliency "if the dollar continues to behave itself."

The ISM, a trade group of purchasing managers, surveys about 200 U.S. companies each month.

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting goods rose in March, rebounding from a drop in February. But the gain was generated by rising demand for military equipment, a volatile category. Excluding defense, durable goods orders dropped 1 percent in March.

The American economy has drawn more strength from services than manufacturing. The ISM's services index has come in above 50 every month since January 2010.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • 490 First Avenue South
  • St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • 727-893-8111