Friday, May 1, 2009
A private group's measure of the manufacturing sector's health shows slower contraction in April than in the previous month, a possible sign that the economy is stabilizing.
A trade group of purchasing executives says an index of manufacturing activity rose to 40.1 in April from 36.3 in March. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
Economists had expected the index to rise to 38 in April.
The index is based on a survey of members of the Tempe, Ariz.-based Institute for Supply Management. The index fell steadily as the economy deteriorated and hit a 28-year low in December.
The report covers indicators including new orders, production, employment, inventories, prices, and export and import orders.