While the numbers look okay, the trend is definitely showing that manufacturing is slowing down, giving rise to fears of the dreaded "double-dip" recession.
While the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) shows May's numbers remained on the "growing" side of the benchmark, manufacturing definitely slid towards contraction, with May's figures marking the worst slide since 1984.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 22nd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 24th consecutive month. However, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped to 53.5% in May compared to 60.4% in April, a decline of 6.9 percentage points. "This is the first reading below 60% for 2011, as well as the lowest PMI reported for the past 12 months," said ISM's Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, and new chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. Holcomb replaced the retired Norbert J. Ore who served as chair of this committee for 15 years....