Although the National Assn. of Purchasing Management's (NAPM) manufacturing index shows growth for April, that growth has slowed since March. On May 1 NAPM reported the index at 54.9 for last month; down from 55.8 for March. The survey-based index signifies growth in the manufacturing sector if above 50, and contraction if below 50. Components within the index show that manufacturers are paying more for materials, a point confirmed by other economic indicators recently. "But there are signs of moderation as the rate of price increase activity appears to be slowing," says Norbert J. Ore, chair of the NAPM manufacturing business survey committee. Other measures in the NAPM monthly report include:
- The NAPM Production Index decreased 3.6 points from 61.8 in March to 58.2 in April.
- New Orders declined less than one point from 56.9 in March to 56.3.
- Inventories Index declined to 45.2 points indicating a faster rate of inventory liquidation when compared with March at 48.4.