Two measures of economic health continue the recent trend: weak, but better than expected. This will add fodder to the argument that the worst is over.
The ISM index, which measures national factory activity, beat the consensus (49.6 vs. 48.5 consensus). While any number under 50 signals a contraction, 49.6 is not a number that will raise serious red flags. Overseas demand helped the manufacturing sector show resilience.
April construction spending also beat consensus (-0.4% vs. -0.6% consensus). Homebuilding woes and less work on office and highway projects were responsible for the overall decline.
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