Monday, April 02, 2012

ISM Manufacturing index indicates slightly faster expansion in March

by Bill McBride on 4/02/2012 10:00:00 AM

PMI was at 53.4% in March, up from 52.4% in February. The employment index was at 56.1%, up from 53.2%, and new orders index was at 54.5%, down from 54.9%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2012 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 32nd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 34th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 53.4 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from February's reading of 52.4 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 32nd consecutive month. The Production Index increased 3 percentage points from February's reading of 55.3 percent to 58.3 percent, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1 percent. Of the 18 industries included in the survey, 15 are experiencing overall growth. Comments from the panel remain positive, with several respondents citing increased sales and demand for the next few months."
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

This was slightly above expectations of 53.0%. This suggests manufacturing expanded at a faster rate in March than in February. It appears manufacturing employment expanded in March with the employment index at 56.1%.