U.S. manufacturing activity expanded and hiring at factories picked up in May, signs of healthy growth for a key sector of the economy. The Institute for Supply Management on Thursday said its closely watched index of U.S. manufacturing activity inched ahead to 54.9 in May from 54.8 in April. A number above 50 indicates expansion. ISM manufacturing readings for each month this year have now been higher than any month in 2015 or 2016.
California’s new-car sales market is cooling down, but Golden State dealers remain on track to again ring up more than 2 million unit sales in 2017, according to the Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association.
CNCDA released its first-quarter 2017 report on Tuesday, showing 506,745 new-car sales in the period. That was up less than 1 percent from 503,463 in the opening quarter of 2016.
While new-vehicle registrations fell 1.4% nationally in January through March, California dealers experienced a 0.7% increase in registrations, putting the state on the path for another year of sales exceeding 2 million vehicles.
In the same time frame, 4.8% of new vehicles registered in the Golden State were zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrids, the highest share ever recorded.
Sales at U.S. stores, restaurants and online retailers increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in April from the prior month, the largest gain in three months, the Commerce Department said Friday. Also, the University of Michigan reported its consumer-sentiment index rose to 97.7 in early May—the strongest reading since January, when sentiment reached a 13-year high.
Preliminary findings in the group’s annual report suggest that travel spending in the state was $126.3 billion, up about 3% from 2015. The industry supported more than 1 million jobs, up 3.4% from last year.