Monday, April 01, 2013

ISM Manufacturing index declines in March to 51.3

by Bill McBride on 4/01/2013 10:07:00 AM

The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in March. The PMI was at 51.3% in March, down from 54.2% in February. The employment index was at 54.2%, up from 52.6%, and the new orders index was at 51.4%, down from 57.8% in February.

From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2013 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the fourth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 46th 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 51.3 percent, a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from February's reading of 54.2 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slower rate. Both the New Orders and Production Indexes reflected growth in March compared to February, albeit at slower rates, registering 51.4 and 52.2 percent, respectively. The Employment Index registered 54.2, an increase of 1.6 percentage points compared to February's reading of 52.6 percent. The Prices Index decreased 7 percentage points to 54.5, and the list of commodities up in price reflected far fewer items than in February. In addition, the Backlog of Orders, Exports and Imports Indexes all grew in March."
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

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

This was below expectations of 54.0% and suggests manufacturing expanded at a slower pace in March.