May 2022 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

Manufacturing PMI® at 56.1%

New Orders, Production and Backlogs Growing at Faster Rates
Employment Contracting; Supplier Deliveries Slowing at a Slower Rate
Raw Materials Inventories Growing at a Faster Rate; Customers’ Inventories Too Low
Prices Increasing at a Slower Rate; Exports Growing at a Faster Rate; Imports Contracting
Record-Long Lead Times for Capital Expenditures

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in May, with the overall economy achieving a 24th consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee:

“The May Manufacturing PMI® registered 56.1 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage point from the reading of 55.4 percent in April. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 24th month in a row after a contraction in April and May 2020. This is the second-lowest Manufacturing PMI® reading since September 2020, when it registered 55.4 percent. The New Orders Index reading of 55.1 percent is 1.6 percentage points higher than the 53.5 percent recorded in April. The Production Index reading of 54.2 percent is a 0.6-percentage point increase compared to April’s figure of 53.6 percent. The Prices Index registered 82.2 percent, down 2.4 percentage points compared to the April figure of 84.6 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 58.7 percent, 2.7 percentage points higher than the April reading of 56 percent. The Employment Index went into contraction territory at 49.6 percent, 1.3 percentage points lower than the 50.9 percent recorded in April. The Supplier Deliveries Index reading of 65.7 percent is 1.5 percentage points lower than the April figure of 67.2 percent. The Inventories Index registered 55.9 percent, 4.3 percentage points higher than the April reading of 51.6 percent. The New Export Orders Index reading of 52.9 percent is up 0.2 percentage point compared to April’s figure of 52.7 percent. The Imports Index fell into contraction territory, decreasing 2.7 percentage points to 48.7 percent from 51.4 percent in April.”

Fiore continues, “The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment. Despite the Employment Index contracting in May, companies improved their progress on addressing moderate-term labor shortages at all tiers of the supply chain, according to Business Survey Committee respondents’ comments. Panelists reported slightly lower rates of quits compared to April. May was a second straight month of slight easing of prices expansion, but instability in global energy markets continues. Surcharge increase activity appears to be stabilizing across all industry sectors. Sentiment remained strongly optimistic regarding demand, with five positive growth comments for every cautious comment. Panelists continue to note supply chain and pricing issues as their biggest concerns. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index improving, supported by stronger growth of new export orders, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index remaining at a very low level and (3) Backlog of Orders Index increasing. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) was mixed during the period, with a combined minus-0.7-percentage point change to the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. The Employment Index contracted after expanding for eight straight months, but panelists indicated improvement in ability to hire in May compared to April. Challenges with turnover (quits and retirements) and resulting backfilling continue to plague efforts to adequately staff organizations, but to a slightly lesser extent compared to April. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to constrain production expansion. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated deliveries slowed at a slower rate, which was supported by the Inventories Index increase in May. The Imports Index contracted in May after six consecutive months of expansion, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The Prices Index increased for the 24th consecutive month, at a slower rate compared to April.

“All of the six biggest manufacturing industries — Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Chemical Products — registered moderate-to-strong growth in May.

“Manufacturing performed well for the 24th straight month, with demand registering faster month-over-month growth and consumption softening due to labor force constraints. Overseas partners’ disruptions are beginning to impact U.S. manufacturing, creating a near-term headwind for factory output growth. Ten percent of panelists’ general comments expressed difficulty obtaining material from their Asian partners, which will impact reliable deliveries in the summer months,” says Fiore.

Fifteen manufacturing industries reported growth in May, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Primary Metals; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The only industry reporting a decrease in May compared to April is Furniture & Related Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • “Suppliers are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for restoration of (semiconductor) component supply. Second-quarter and Q3 supply appears to be loosening.” [Computer & Electronic Products]
  • “While orders remain strong and backlogs exist, there’s a softening in forecasted orders for leading indicator-type customers and business units.” [Chemical Products]
  • “The challenge with semiconductors hasn’t softened; the situation is worsening due to Chinese COVID-19 lockdowns.” [Transportation Equipment]
  • “Input costs, particularly grain, oil, dairy and protein, are rising faster than can be passed along at retail and food service, with no relief in sight.” [Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products]
  • “Our order books are still strong. Material prices continue to rise, with energy and freight noted as the underlying influences on increased costs.” [Machinery]
  • “Shanghai has been shut down since mid-March. All of the (population) is in lockdown, with no production or port activities. Steel remains in allocation. Electronics lead times are more than 12 months.” [Fabricated Metal Products]
  • “Supply chain issues are causing us to dramatically extend our lead times. Our production lines have (run) low on or out of parts needed to complete rates every week this month.” [Miscellaneous Manufacturing]
  • “We’ve continued to transition to North American sales to avoid ocean vessels, and we are apprehensive about the West Coast ports’ labor contract negotiations. A challenge of doing more business by rail is the backlog of rail cars and embargos.” [Paper Products]
  • “Price increases haven’t let up. I thought 2022 was going to be better, but it hasn’t been. Shortages (among other issues) are still disrupting the supply chain.” [Plastics & Rubber Products]
  • “Business is steady. We consolidated shifts and do maintenance on off hours, which is working well.” [Primary Metals]

Manufacturing at a Glance
May 2022

Index Series Index May Series Index Apr Percentage Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend* (Months)
Manufacturing PMI® 56.1 55.4 +0.7 Growing Faster 24
New Orders 55.1 53.5 +1.6 Growing Faster 24
Production 54.2 53.6 +0.6 Growing Faster 24
Employment 49.6 50.9 -1.3 Contracting From Growing 1
Supplier Deliveries 65.7 67.2 -1.5 Slowing Slower 75
Inventories 55.9 51.6 +4.3 Growing Faster 10
Customers’ Inventories 32.7 37.1 -4.4 Too Low Faster 68
Prices 82.2 84.6 -2.4 Increasing Slower 24
Backlog of Orders 58.7 56.0 +2.7 Growing Faster 23
New Export Orders 52.9 52.7 +0.2 Growing Faster 23
Imports 48.7 51.4 -2.7 Contracting From Growing 1
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Faster 24
Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 24
Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business® data is seasonally adjusted for the New Orders, Production, Employment and Inventories indexes.
*Number of months moving in current direction.

COMMODITIES REPORTED UP/DOWN IN PRICE AND IN SHORT SUPPLY

Commodities Up in Price


Adhesives and Paint (6); Aluminum* (24); Aluminum Extrusions; Aluminum Products (5); Caustic Soda (3); Copper (5); Corrugate (4); Corrugated Packaging (19); Crude Oil; Diesel Fuel (17); Electrical Components (18); Electronic Components (18); Electronic Controls; Energy (3); Epoxy (2); Fiber Optic Cable; Freight (19); Hydraulic Components; Labor — Temporary (13); Lumber (6); Natural Gas (11); Packaging Supplies (18); Paper (3); Petrochemical Based Products*; Petroleum Based Products; Plastic Resins (5); Polyethylene; Polypropylene (3); Polypropylene Containers; Resin Based Products (2); Rubber Based Products (10); Semiconductors; Solvents (4); Steel* (22); Steel — Fabricated & Machined Components; Steel — Stainless (19); Steel Bar; Steel Castings; Steel Products (21); and Wheat.

Commodities Down in Price


Aluminum*; Petrochemical Based Products*; Steel*; Steel — Scrap; and Steel — Hot Rolled.

Commodities in Short Supply


Aluminum (7); Aluminum Products; Cable Assemblies (3); Electrical Components (20); Electronic Components (18); Electronic Controls; Freight (3); Hydraulic Components; Labor — Temporary (13); Packaging Film; Packaging Products; Paper (2); Petrochemical Based Products; Phosphoric Acid; Plastic Resins; Power Transmission Products; Resin Based Products (3); Semiconductors (18); Steel — Fabricated & Machined Components; Steel Products (2); and Sunflower Products.

Note: The number of consecutive months the commodity is listed is indicated after each item.

*Indicates both up and down in price.


MAY 2022 MANUFACTURING INDEX SUMMARIES


MANUFACTURING PMI®

Manufacturing grew in May, as the Manufacturing PMI® registered 56.1 percent, 0.7 percentage point higher than the April reading of 55.4 percent. “The Manufacturing PMI® continued to indicate solid sector expansion and U.S. economic growth in May. Four of the five subindexes that directly factor into the Manufacturing PMI® were in growth territory. All of the six biggest manufacturing industries registered moderate-to-strong growth in May, in this order: Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Chemical Products. The New Orders and Production indexes increased at faster rates. The Supplier Deliveries Index slowed at a slower rate and the Inventories Index increased, indicating somewhat easing supply chain congestion. Eight of the 10 subindexes were positive for the period; a reading of ‘too low’ for the Customers’ Inventories Index is considered a positive for future production,” says Fiore. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

A Manufacturing PMI® above 48.7 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the May Manufacturing PMI® indicates the overall economy grew in May for the 24th consecutive month following contraction in April and May 2020. “The past relationship between the Manufacturing PMI® and the overall economy indicates that the Manufacturing PMI® for May (56.1 percent) corresponds to a 2.6-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis,” says Fiore.

THE LAST 12 MONTHS


Month
Manufacturing PMI®
May 2022 56.1
Apr 2022 55.4
Mar 2022 57.1
Feb 2022 58.6
Jan 2022 57.6
Dec 2021 58.8
Month
Manufacturing PMI®
Nov 2021 60.6
Oct 2021 60.8
Sep 2021 60.5
Aug 2021 59.7
Jul 2021 59.9
Jun 2021 60.9
58.8
60.9
55.4

NEW ORDERS

ISM®’s New Orders Index registered 55.1 percent in May, an increase of 1.6 percentage points compared to the 53.5 percent reported in April. This indicates that new orders grew for the 24th consecutive month. “All of the six largest manufacturing sectors — Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Chemical Products; and Transportation Equipment, in that order — increased new orders at moderate to strong levels. Price elevation and extended lead times resulted in a continuing slowing in new order rates across the supply chain. Backlog and customer inventories strengthened in the month, indicating that demand remains strong,” says Fiore. A New Orders Index above 52.9 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau’s series on manufacturing orders (in constant 2000 dollars).

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in new orders in May, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; and Fabricated Metal Products. The only industry reporting a decline in new orders in May is Wood Products. Six industries reported no change in new orders in May as compared to April.

New Orders % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 28.2 58.5 13.3 +14.9 55.1
Apr 2022 25.1 64.0 10.9 +14.2 53.5
Mar 2022 28.2 60.4 11.4 +16.8 53.8
Feb 2022 32.5 61.4 6.1 +26.4 61.7

PRODUCTION

The Production Index registered 54.2 percent in May, 0.6 percentage point higher than the April reading of 53.6 percent, indicating growth for the 24th consecutive month. “Of the top six industries, five —Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products — expanded in May. Demand remains strong: Hiring and material availability continue to show signs of recovery, but factories are still struggling to hit optimum output rates — primarily due to high levels of employee turnover, which is also causing productivity loss on factory floors,” says Fiore. An index above 52.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures.

The eight industries reporting growth in production during the month of May — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products. The eight industries reporting a decrease in May, in the following order, are: Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.

Production % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 23.9 59.2 16.9 +7.0 54.2
Apr 2022 27.5 61.0 11.5 +16.0 53.6
Mar 2022 25.7 62.3 12.0 +13.7 54.5
Feb 2022 27.5 61.8 10.7 +16.8 58.5

EMPLOYMENT

ISM®’s Employment Index registered 49.6 percent in May, 1.3 percentage points below the April reading of 50.9 percent. “The index contracted after eight consecutive months of expansion. This is the lowest reading since November 2020, when the index registered 48.1 percent. Of the six big manufacturing sectors, three (Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products) expanded. Survey panelists’ companies are still struggling to meet labor management plans, though with more signs of improvement: A larger share of comments (7 percent in May, up from 1 percent in April) noted greater hiring ease. An overwhelming majority of panelists again indicate their companies are hiring, and for the second month, 89 percent of Employment Index comments were hiring focused. Among those respondents, 30 percent expressed difficulty in filling positions, down from 34 percent in April, a positive development. Turnover rates remain elevated (36 percent of comments cited backfills and retirements, a decrease from 39 percent in April). Employment levels, driven primarily by turnover and a smaller labor pool, remain the top issue affecting further output growth,” says Fiore. An Employment Index above 50.5 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.

Of 18 manufacturing industries, eight industries reported employment growth in May, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products. The seven industries reporting a decrease in employment in May — in the following order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.

Employment % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 21.8 55.4 22.8 -1.0 49.6
Apr 2022 21.0 61.9 17.1 +3.9 50.9
Mar 2022 24.4 65.2 10.4 +14.0 56.3
Feb 2022 21.6 62.4 16.0 +5.6 52.9

SUPPLIER DELIVERIES*

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in May, as the Supplier Deliveries Index registered 65.7 percent, 1.5 percentage points lower than the 67.2 percent reported in April. All six of the top manufacturing industries (Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products, in that order) reported slower deliveries. “Deliveries slowed at a slower rate compared to the previous month. The index continues to reflect suppliers’ difficulties in meeting demand from panelists’ companies. In May, suppliers remained in a labor-constrained environment, based on panelists’ comments and the Employment Index falling into contraction territory. Transportation networks reflected improvement compared to April. Among supplier delivery comments, 9 percent noted stable month-over-month improvement. Improvement in the index will be constrained at least in the short term due to continuing labor issues and the expected impact of recent China lockdowns,” says Fiore. A reading below 50 percent indicates faster deliveries, while a reading above 50 percent indicates slower deliveries.

Of 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported slower supplier deliveries in May, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Paper Products; Primary Metals; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Textile Mills; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; and Furniture & Related Products. No industry reported faster supplier deliveries in May as compared to April.

Supplier Deliveries % Slower % Same % Faster Net Index
May 2022 37.1 57.2 5.7 +31.4 65.7
Apr 2022 38.7 57.0 4.3 +34.4 67.2
Mar 2022 34.8 61.2 4.0 +30.8 65.4
Feb 2022 39.0 54.2 6.8 +32.2 66.1

INVENTORIES

The Inventories Index registered 55.9 percent in May, 4.3 percentage points higher than the 51.6 percent reported for April. “Manufacturing inventories expanded at a faster rate compared to April. Of the six big manufacturing industries, five (Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; and Chemical Products) grew their inventories of manufacturing materials in May,” says Fiore. An Inventories Index greater than 44.4 percent, over time, is generally consistent with expansion in the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) figures on overall manufacturing inventories (in chained 2000 dollars).

The 14 industries reporting higher inventories in May — in the following order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Chemical Products. The three industries reporting contracting inventories in May are: Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Primary Metals.

Inventories % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 24.3 62.5 13.2 +11.1 55.9
Apr 2022 21.4 61.4 17.2 +4.2 51.6
Mar 2022 24.5 63.6 11.9 +12.6 55.5
Feb 2022 23.4 63.3 13.3 +10.1 53.6

CUSTOMERS’ INVENTORIES*

ISM®’s Customers’ Inventories Index registered 32.7 percent in May, 4.4 percentage points lower than the 37.1 percent reported for April, indicating that customers’ inventory levels were considered much too low. “Customers’ inventories are too low for the 68th consecutive month, a positive for future production growth. For 22 straight months, the Customers’ Inventories Index has been at historically low levels,” says Fiore.

Only Apparel, Leather & Allied Products reported customers’ inventories as too high in May. The 14 industries reporting customers’ inventories as too low during May — listed in order — are: Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

Customers’ Inventories % Reporting % Too High % About Right % Too Low Net Index
May 2022 75 12.8 39.7 47.5 -34.7 32.7
Apr 2022 76 10.5 53.2 36.3 -25.8 37.1
Mar 2022 69 7.3 53.6 39.1 -31.8 34.1
Feb 2022 76 8.5 46.7 44.8 -36.3 31.8

PRICES*

The ISM® Prices Index registered 82.2 percent, down 2.4 percentage points compared to the April reading of 84.6 percent, indicating raw materials prices increased for the 24th consecutive month, at a slower rate in May. The Prices Index has exceeded 70 percent in 17 out of the last 18 months and been above 60 percent for 21 straight months. “Continued oil and fuel price increases, packaging supplies (including corrugate) food ingredients, commodity materials (copper, steel and aluminum) and petroleum-based products and petrochemicals were the primary causes of prices growth. Notably, 5.6 percent of respondents reported lower prices in May, indicating a slow but steady move towards price softening,” says Fiore. A Prices Index above 52.6 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials.

In May, 17 of 18 industries reported paying increased prices for raw materials, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Textile Mills; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Fabricated Metal Products. No industry reported paying decreased prices for raw materials in May.

Prices % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 70.2 24.2 5.6 +64.6 82.2
Apr 2022 73.5 22.1 4.4 +69.1 84.6
Mar 2022 75.1 24.0 0.9 +74.2 87.1
Feb 2022 56.2 38.8 5.0 +51.2 75.6

BACKLOG OF ORDERS*

ISM®’s Backlog of Orders Index registered 58.7 percent in May, a 2.7-percentage point increase compared to the 56 percent reported in April, indicating order backlogs expanded for the 23rd straight month. Of the six largest manufacturing sectors, four — Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products — expanded their order backlogs. “Backlogs expanded in May at a faster rate, as output remains constrained and new orders continue at moderate levels,” says Fiore.

Ten industries reported growth in order backlogs in May, in the following order: Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The only industry reporting lower backlogs in May is Wood Products. Six industries reported no change in order backlogs in May as compared to April.

Backlog of Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 91 31.6 54.3 14.1 +17.5 58.7
Apr 2022 92 27.9 56.3 15.8 +12.1 56.0
Mar 2022 92 29.8 60.4 9.8 +20.0 60.0
Feb 2022 92 39.0 52.0 9.0 +30.0 65.0

NEW EXPORT ORDERS*

ISM®’s New Export Orders Index registered 52.9 percent in May, up 0.2 percentage point compared to the April reading of 52.7 percent. “The New Export Orders Index grew for the 23rd consecutive month, at a marginally faster rate in May. For the third straight month, COVID-19 in China has suppressed customer demand from overseas, and the war in Ukraine has limited European demand. Of the six big industry sectors, five — Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Machinery — expanded,” says Fiore.

Seven industries reported growth in new export orders in May, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Machinery. The three industries reporting a decrease in new export orders in May are: Paper Products; Wood Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. Six industries reported no change in exports in May as compared to April.

New Export Orders % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 73 14.6 76.6 8.8 +5.8 52.9
Apr 2022 73 10.7 84.1 5.2 +5.5 52.7
Mar 2022 72 14.3 77.7 8.0 +6.3 53.2
Feb 2022 74 17.0 80.3 2.7 +14.3 57.1

IMPORTS*

ISM®’s Imports Index registered 48.7 percent in May, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points compared to April’s figure of 51.4 percent. “Imports contracted in May, with the index registering its lowest reading since May 2020 (41.3 percent). Import demand remains strong, but we are beginning to see the impact of port closures in China, which will lead to additional supply chain disruptions,” says Fiore.

The two industries reporting growth in imports in May are: Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. Nine industries — in the following order — reported lower volumes of imports in May: Paper Products; Wood Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; and Machinery. Seven industries reported no change in imports in May.

Imports % Reporting % Higher % Same % Lower Net Index
May 2022 85 13.4 70.6 16.0 -2.6 48.7
Apr 2022 83 13.2 76.5 10.3 +2.9 51.4
Mar 2022 83 15.2 73.1 11.7 +3.5 51.8
Feb 2022 83 18.1 74.7 7.2 +10.9 55.4
*The Supplier Deliveries, Customers’ Inventories, Prices, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders and Imports indexes do not meet the accepted criteria for seasonal adjustments.

BUYING POLICY

The average commitment lead time for Capital Expenditures in May was 178 days, an increase of five days compared to April and an all-time high. (ISM® began tracking lead times data in 1987.) CapEx lead times have increased in nine of the last 12 months, for a net gain of 34 days since June 2021 (144 days). Average lead time in May for Production Materials decreased by one day, to 99 days. Average lead time for Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) Supplies decreased by one day, to 48 days.

Percent Reporting

Capital Expenditures Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
May 2022 17 5 8 10 30 30 178
Apr 2022 18 4 6 14 30 28 173
Mar 2022 18 3 8 14 29 28 172
Feb 2022 19 5 7 11 29 29 173

Percent Reporting

Production Materials Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
May 2022 9 21 21 26 15 8 99
Apr 2022 9 16 26 24 18 7 100
Mar 2022 8 21 23 26 15 7 96
Feb 2022 11 21 21 24 15 8 97

Percent Reporting

MRO Supplies Hand-to-Mouth 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 6 Months 1 Year + Average Days
May 2022 27 35 19 12 6 1 48
Apr 2022 24 33 23 15 4 1 49
Mar 2022 24 33 22 16 5 0 48
Feb 2022 27 36 18 12 5 2 50
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