The manufacturing sector grew again in April, according to the most recent ISM report. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 57.3%, which is 2 percentage points down from its March level but still represents expansion.

Food, beverage, and tobacco was one of the industries reporting growth, but industry representatives also expressed that delivery times were being affected by a shortage of trucks and drivers.

Here’s what the food, beverage, and tobacco industry reported for April:

  • Growth in new orders
  • Growth in production
  • Growth in employment
  • Slower supplier deliveries
  • Higher raw materials inventories
  • No change in customer inventories
  • Increased prices for raw materials
  • Growth in order backlogs
  • Growth in new export orders
  • Growth in imports

While both the overall economy and the manufacturing sector are growing, the rate of growth is slowing. This is seen, for example, in the ISM Production Index, which was under 60% for the first time in 10 months, and the Employment Index, which fell more than 3 percentage points due to manufacturers having difficulty finding skilled workers.

April also saw increased lead times for capital expenditures, production materials, and maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies.

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