Furniture Was the Only Manufacturing Industry to Report Loss in May

By Furniture Today

This article was published in Furniture Today June 9, 2022.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Of the 18 manufacturing industries recognized by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), furniture was the only one that didn’t report growth in the month of May.

Overall, manufacturing grew to an index reading of 56.1%, an increase of 0.7% over April. May’s reading however, is the second lowest since September 2020.

“The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment,” said ISM chairman Timothy Fiore. “Panelists reported slightly lower rates of quits compared with 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,” he continued. “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.”

Despite the bleak outlook, 15 manufacturing industries reported growth for the month, with two reporting no change. The only one to report a decrease was furniture.

Furniture was one of eight to report a decrease in production, and one of seven to show a decrease in employment. Nearly all industries – including furniture – reported slower supplier deliveries and reported paying more for materials.

The manufacturing industry continues to be plagued by hiring and retention difficulties.

“The Employment Index contracted after expanding for eight straight months, but panelists indicated improvement in ability to hire in May compared with April,” said Fiore. “Challenges with turnover (quits and retirements) and resulting backfilling continue to plague efforts to adequately staff organizations, but to a slightly lesser extent compared with April.”

See the full report here.

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