The ISM Manufacturing Report on Business is coming in a bit better than some of the recent regional data may have indicated. Today’s report shows that if you use the entire United States rather than just certain regions that the March data suggests that new orders have grown and that production and employment are also growing. It further shows that supplier deliveries have been faster and that inventory levels are unchanged.
Manufacturing expanded in March for what was called the 32nd consecutive month with the overall economy now showing 34 consecutive months. The PMI report was put at 53.4% in March. That is up 1 percentage point from February’s reading of 52.4% and it compares to a Dow Jones target of 53.0% expected.
The Production Index was up 3 percentage points month over month to 58.3%; and the Employment Index rose by 2.9 percentage points to 56.1% in March. Today’s report also showed that some 15 of industries included in the survey are experiencing overall growth and several respondents cited increased sales and demand for the next few months.
The only two negative sectors for the month of March were Computer & Electronic Products and Chemical Products. It is probably worth noting that the degree of growth was lower on New Orders as that reading came in at a 0.4-point drop to 54.5% in March. Fortunately, prices paid was down was a 0.5-point drop down to 61.0.
JON C. OGG