A good but uninspiring report for the U.S. New orders were off a little and new export orders tumbled back below January’s level.
The PMI registered 53.4%, an increase of 1 percentage point from February’s reading of 52.4%. The Production Index increased 3 percentage points from February’s reading of 55.3% to 58.3%, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1%.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in March while only two industries reported contraction (Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products).
Fifteen industries reported growth in new orders in March while two industries reported decreases (Computer & Electronic Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components).
ISM’s Employment Index registered 56.1% in March, +2.9 percentage points. Twelve industries reported growth in employment in March and three reported a decrease.
Backlog of Orders
Nine industries reported increased order backlogs in March while five industries reported decreases.
New Export Orders
Eight industries reported growth in new export orders in March and four reported a decrease.