Manufacturing Sector Expanded in March

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 57.2 points in March, down 0.5 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. March’s reading indicates a seventh consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, seventeen reported growth while none reported contraction.

The Employment Index increased 4.7 points to 58.9 in March, indicating expansion for the sixth consecutive month. Fourteen industries reported expansion, while three reported a decrease in employment.

The New Orders Index decreased 0.6 percentage point to 64.5 in March, indicating growth for the seventh consecutive month. All eighteen industries reported increases in new orders.

Export orders increased 4.0 points to 59.0, indicating growth for the thirteenth consecutive month. Eleven industries reported growth while only one of the eighteen reported a decrease in new export orders.

The inventories index registered 49.0 points, down 2.5 points from the previous month. This reading indicates that raw materials inventories are contracting.

Read the ISM release.