ISM barometer of American factories fell drastically in April

ISM manufacturing index drops to 55.4% in April from 57.1%
The numbers: The ISM barometer of American factories fell 1.7 points to 55.4% in April as the industrial side of the economy grew at the slowest clip in 18 months, reflecting broad supply and labor shortages and intense inflationary pressures.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast the index to rise to 57.8% from a one-and-a-half year low of 57.1% in March.
The report, compiled by the Institute for Supply Management, is seen as a mirror of the health of the U.S. economy. Any number above 50% signifies growth.
Yet even though the index has been very strong for most of the past two years and is historically high, it’s shown some weakening lately.
“Inflation is out of control,” one chemical-industry executive told ISM. “At some point, the economy must give way It will be tough to have real growth with such pressure on costs.”
The lockdowns in China are going to cause “some pretty significant problems,” said Timothy Fiore, chairman of the survey.
More broadly, the survey suggests inflation is likely to remain sky-high for a while.

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