Industrial activity in the United States fell sharply in April due to the consequences of the corona crisis. This is evident from figures from the leading market researcher ISM.
These pointed to the sharpest drop in production that the institute has ever measured.
The index for the production of American factories fell by more than 20 points compared to March, to a level of 27.5. Any figure below 50 indicates contraction, above that growth.
It is the sharpest decline since ISM started its measurements in 1948. The blow to the industry is also felt in the labour market. The employment indicator in the sector reached its lowest level in more than seven decades
The all-encompassing index of activity in the US industry also pointed to a sharp contraction, but less than average economists expected. The gauge reached 41.5 in April, from 49.1 a month earlier.
The blow was “not so bad” because ISM weighs longer delivery times as a positive economic factor in its index.
In the midst of the corona pandemic, deliveries were indeed much delayed, but this seems to be the result of major logistical disruptions.
British market researcher Markit published his definitive index for the American industry. It recorded a level of 36.1 for April, the lowest level since March 2009. In March, the Markit index was still at 48.5.