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Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector continued contracting in April at the same rate as in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Its key purchasing managers' index for manufacturing was unchanged at 48.6 in April from March. Only readings of more than 50 indicate expansion.
"The manufacturing sector failed to grow in April as the PMI fell below 50% for the third consecutive month," said Norbert Ore, chair of the institute's manufacturing business survey committee. "Manufacturers are in a situation where both new orders and production are slowly declining, but prices continue to rise at highly inflationary rates."
The employment portion of the index fell to 45.4 in April from 49.2 in March.