ISM: Manufacturing grew in April, but higher commodity prices eating into profits  On Monday, the Institute of Supply Management released its report on the growth of the U.S. manufacturing industry in April, affirming that the manufacturing sector expanded for the 21st straight month.

According to the ISM's April report, 17 out of 18 industries surveyed reported growth during the fourth month of the year, with only furniture and related products witnessing a decline in manufacturing activity. The PMI registered 60.4 percent in April, declining from March's 61.2 percent reading. However, a reading above 42.5 percent generally indicates an expansion, illustrating the brisk pace with which the manufacturing sector climbed in the month.

The U.S. economy also ]expanded for the 23rd consecutive month in April, the report concluded. Norbert J. Ore, the chairman of the ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, asserted that the manufacturing sector recorded another month of expansion, but that higher commodity prices were beginning to worry businesses that operate in the industry.

"The recent trend of rapid growth in the manufacturing sector continued in April as the PMI registered above 60 percent for the fourth consecutive month. Manufacturing employment appears to have developed significant momentum, as the Employment Index readings for the first four months of 2011 are highest readings in the last 38 years. While the manufacturing sector is definitely performing above most expectations so far in 2011, manufacturers are experiencing significant cost pressures from commodities and other inputs." 
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