US manufacturing activity slowed in April, with the ISM purchasing manufacturing index (PMI) registering at 52.8, a decline of 2.5 points from the previous month. Although the index remained above the 50 point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the sector, the manufacturing sector's growth has been trending downward since its high of 60.8 in August 2018.

  • The decline in the index has been largely due to slower growth in new orders and the falling production index. The new order index fell to 51.7 in April from 57.4 in March, while the production index dropped by another 3.5 points since March. 
  • Survey respondents point to US-Mexico border tension - and now the related tariff threats by the US - as well as the ongoing trade war between the US and China as two major factors putting downward pressure on the index.
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