US manufacturing growth slowed in May according to survey data from purchasing managers and Federal Reserve researchers in the central bank's Richmond district.
A strong performance in May for the US services sector was slightly tarnished by slowing growth in manufacturing, the PMI data indicated.
PMI and Richmond Fed data
The manufacturing index eased back to 52.5 in May from 52.8 in April, defying expectations of a rise to 53. The index has slipped every month since hitting 55 in January.
A measure of manufacturing output in Fed's Richmond district – covering Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia – also proved disappointing.
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 1 in May from 20 in April. Forecasts were for a dip to 15.
Service sector activity, however, continued to expand with the index for the sector climbing to 54 in May, from 53.1 in April and beating forecasts for no change from the prior month.
Thanks to the strong performance from US services, the composite index that measures overall business activity in the US climbed to 53.9 from 53.2 in April.