Manufacturing activity declined marginally in April after a big drop in February, with the ISM index of manufacturing activity falling to 45.4 from 46.2 based on a survey of industrial buyers.

This is one of the first post-war data releases but it is does not yet show the expected post-war rebound from higher consumer and investment spending, said Jim Haughey, Newport Communications' senior economist. That should appear in the next report for May.
However, the production sub-index did improve slightly from 46.3 to 47.0 and the orders backlog sub-index rose strongly from 41.5 to 47.5, suggesting that the total index will be rising later this spring.
The recovery in manufacturing activity will be slow because consumers are still concerned about job security and surplus capacity still restrains business investment, Haughey said.