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The Institue for Supply Management in its  latest Manufacturing ISM  Report On Business said that the economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace than expected in April with the headline PMI slumping to 52.8 from 55.3 in March and falling short of the market expectation of 55.

Assessing the data, “Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, but at the softest levels since the fourth quarter of 2016,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management  (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

“Demand expansion continued, with the New Orders Index softening to the low 50s, the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at a ‘too low’ status, and the Backlog of Orders Index improving its prior month performance.”