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NAM on ISM Survey: Manufacturing activity rose In May.

USA Today (6/2, Davidson) reports on Monday’s release by the Institute for Supply Management of its latest manufacturing survey, which showed that the sector expanded in May for the first time in six months. The survey, also known as ISM’s purchasing managers index, achieving a 52.8 reading, up from April’s 51.5. Within the survey, there were month-on-month improvements in key metrics such as new orders, production, employment, inventories, and prices. ISM Chairman Bradley Holcomb pointed to an “improving flow of goods through the West Coast ports” as one of the reasons for positive data, USA Today says. But he also mentioned “continuing concerns over the price of the US dollar and challenges affecting markets related to oil and gas industries.”

The Wall Street Journal (6/2, Madigan, Subscription Publication) notes that the ISM PMI had been flat between March and April at the same 51.5 level before last month’s jump of more than a full point.

The AP (6/1, Rugaber) says the “pickup in factory activity suggests the economy may be growing again after shrinking” during the first quarter. It notes, however, that overall economic growth in the US “remains slow, held back by a range of factors,” including Americans’ reluctance to increase personal spending despite an improving job market and lower prices for gasoline.

In the estimation of Bloomberg News (6/1), which also reports the ISM numbers, US households “remain intent on rebuilding finances six years into the economic expansion even as the job market strengthens, which means manufacturing will take time to rebound from the strong dollar and plunge in oil prices.”

Markit Manufacturing PMI For May Declines. Business Insider (6/1, Oyedele) reports that a separate, private-sector PMI compiled by UK-based firm Markit Economics “came in at 54.0 in May, falling from the previous month but beating forecasts.” The story notes that a consensus of economists had predicted that the index would be 53.8. The reading for April’s Markit survey was 54.5. The firm’s chief economist, Chris Williamson, blamed “the smallest rise in new orders since the start of last year” on the strong dollar, along with declining exports.

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