The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.’s business barometer fell to 46.2 in May from 52.3 the prior month, a report showed Friday. Readings lower than 50 indicate contraction.
The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for the measure to rise to 53, with estimates ranging from 51 to 55.
The report showed factory employment contracted this month.
The national factory index, produced by the Tempe, Arizona-based Institute for Supply Management, probably increased to 52 in May from a 51.5 reading in April, according to the median projection in a Bloomberg survey ahead of the report’s June 1 release.