Manufacturing continued to improve in May, but the economic recovery may be slowing according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Almost all of its report's indices showed things getting better last month, but possibly not quickly enough to provide for that v-shaped recovery that so many are hoping for.
It's probably easiest to start by presenting its chart of indices:
As you can see, almost every indicator shown is growing. The few outliers include deliveries and inventories. In fact, inventories dropped a significant 3.8%. This decline likely shows manufacturers are continuing to allow their stocks to decline as the economy strengthens, rather than hire in proportion to the greater demand. So even though this is bad news presently -- because it indicates that manufacturers haven't brought on enough new workers -- as the economy continues to strengthen, these jobs will have to follow. Inventories can only go so low.
Since inventories are being drained, it makes sense that supplier deliveries slowed in May. If new manufacturing isn't keeping up with demand, then fewer deliveries are necessary as output growth is stunted. This indicator will also improve when inventories get replenished.