The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) PMI Index, a measure of nationwide manufacturing activity, registered 41.5 in April, a drop of “just” -7.6 points from its March reading of 49.1 (a reading below 50 is consistent with contraction in manufacturing activity). After barely edging into contraction last month, the PMI Index was expected to plunge to 36.9 under the weight of the first full month of the Covid-19 pandemic and its resultant shutdowns. This surprising resiliency is consistent with local survey data collected by the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance and Insyte Consulting indicating that over 90% of area manufacturers have continued operating during the pandemic. Production (27.5 down -20.2 points) and Employment (27.5 down -16.3 points) led the way down. According to ISM, “comments from the panel were strongly negative (three negative comments for every one positive comment) regarding the near-term outlook, with sentiment clearly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continuing energy market recession.”
See the full report here.