Fourteen of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in business activity in May, the Institute of Supply Management said Wednesday. May marked the 24th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing, the institute said. In the month, the headline index, the Purchasing Managers Index, dropped 6.9 percentage points, but still remained above 50 at 53.5. Numbers above 50 indicate growth. The new orders index rose for the 23th consecutive month, although growth slowed with the new orders index falling from 61.7 to 51. Manufacturing production also gained at a slower pace with the production index dropping from 63.8 to 54. The employment index also showed slower growth with the index falling from 62.7 to 58.2. The exports index dropped from 62 to 55, while imports slid from 55.5 to 54.5. While employment maintained some of its momentum, the report said, \"Manufacturers continue to experience significant cost pressure from commodities,\" said Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee in a statement.