NEW YORK – The seasonally adjusted Milwaukee Report on Business climbed to 57.72 in May from 52.87 in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee.

New orders received rose to 55.20 from 55.09, production gained to 52.77 from 48.64, employment grew to 63.01 from 61.39, supplier deliveries rose to 58.08 from 49.21, and backlog of orders grew to 50.00 from 47.92.

Inventory levels climbed to 59.52 from 50.00, customers’ inventories jumped to 47.22 from 39.58, prices sank to 52.17 from 63.46, exports decreased to 56.25 from 58.82 and imports plunged to 46.88 from 61.11.

The blue collar diffusion index decreased to 54.3 from 56.0, while the white collar diffusion index fell to 58.2 from 60.1.

Respondents’ comments included:

--Currently have major supplier in Chapter 11

--Restricted capacity and downtime in the chemical industry has allowed previously announced price increases to sick. Titanium and dioxide also in tight supply.

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