Manufacturers indicated a strong start to the second quarter of 2014, with the latest survey highlighting expanding levels of production, new work and employment. At 55.4 in April, the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI was down fractionally from 55.5 in March but still well above the neutral 50.0 value. Sharper rates of output and new business growth boosted the Manufacturing PMI during April, while the main negative influence on the headline index was a rise in the suppliers’ delivery times component.
Manufacturers signaled a robust and accelerated increase in new business volumes in April, with the rate of growth the second-fastest since May 2010 (only exceeded by the weather-related rebound seen in February). The latest increase in new orders from abroad was the strongest since August 2013, although export trends remained subdued in comparison to overall new business gains across the manufacturing sector.