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Fri Jun 1, 2012, 11:27 AM

Manufacturing in U.S. Expanded at a Slower Pace in May [View all]

By Lorraine Woellert - 2012-06-01T14:32:58Z

Manufacturing in the U.S. grew at a slower pace in May as factories tempered production and pared inventories in response to weakness in the global economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 53.5 after reaching a 10-month high of 54.8 in April, the Tempe, Arizona-based group reported today. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. The median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a decrease to 53.8 in May.

Manufacturing, which has been a bright spot since the economic expansion began three years ago, may be starting to cool. While gains in auto sales are underpinning factory growth, the industry may become strained by stagnation in Europe’s economy, U.S. fiscal concerns and less corporate investment.

“This signals continued moderate economic growth, not any sort of boom or bust,” Michael Brown, an economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. ‘You have the uncertainty in Europe, uncertainty around U.S. fiscal policy and the federal budget for next year.”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-01/ism-index-of-u-s-manufacturing-decreased-to-53-5-in-may.html

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