A closely watched gauge of national manufacturing activity unexpectedly increased in May, despite recessionary fears tied to increasing inflation and a gyrating stock market. The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI Index increased 0.7 points to 56.1 in May compared to 55.4 in April (a reading above 50.0 is indicative of growth). Economists had expected a drop of -0.9 to 54.5, according to a poll by Reuters. The index had decreased in four of the last five months. See the full report here.