TEMPE, AZ-The Institute for Supply Management reported that manufacturing activity increased in April with the manufacturing index hitting its highest mark since last May. On the other hand, commodities prices continue to rise at a rapid rate, with metals and energy being the areas of greatest concern.

IMS reported that in April the manufacturing index hit the highest rate in 11 months, registering 54.7%, an increase of 3.8 percentage points when compared to March’s reading of 50.9%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.

Also in April, IMS reported that the prices component of the index surged to its highest since last July, registering 73%, indicating manufacturers are paying higher prices on average when compared to March. Prices rose for all reported commodities including gasoline, aluminum, diesel fuel, corn and steel.