The closely watched PMI measure of national manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indicated little change in October from the month before. The PMI edged down -0.7 points to 50.2 in October compared to 50.9 in September (a reading above 50.0 indicates expansion). The index has been trending steadily downward since March 2021 when it registered 64.7. New Orders and Backlog contracted in October, as did Prices which dropped -5.1 points to 46.4, the lowest reading for Prices since May 2020 (40.8).
According to ISM, “the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand, but at the lowest rate since the coronavirus pandemic recovery began. With panelists reporting softening new order rates over the previous five months, the October index reading reflects companies’ preparing for potential future lower demand.” See the full report here.