The manufacturing sector in the US improved more than expected in May, but was still in contraction, according to the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index. The PMI came in at 49.6%, up from 48.6% in April. Economists had forecast a number at or around 48.7%. Readings above 50% indicate growth, and anything below, contraction. The index has been below 50% for four straight months.
The index rose on strengths in production and new orders. Production increased to 51.2%, up from 49.1%, the highest level since January. New orders stood at 49.7%, up from 46.5% in April.
Seven of the 18 industries included in the survey were expanding in May, led by computer and electronic products and primary metals.
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