01 June 2005 | Gareth Mytton
The UK manufacturing sector contracted for the second consecutive month in May, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) report.
The overall PMI - a composite indicator of sector conditions from CIPS and NTC Research in which 50 indicates no change on the previous month - fell to 47.3, from 49.1 in April.
All the constituents of the PMI - new orders, output, employment, delivery times and stocks of purchases - had indices under 50, and only employment and delivery times increased on April.
Although purchasers reported high prices for oil, steel and plastics, the input price index fell to 52.2. This is an 19.9-point fall on last October.
Manufacturing activity also fell in the euro-zone. The May PMI fell to 48.7, amid falls in new orders and employment.
In the US, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing report on business put the PMI at 51.4, a fall on April's 53.3. The sector is losing momentum, warned Norbert Ore, chair of the ISM business survey committee.
• Coverage of previous months' manufacturing, construction and services PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi
• More information on the UK and euro-zone PMIs is available at www.ntc-research.com
• The full text of the ISM reports on the US manufacturing economy for May and previous months is available at http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/index.cfm.