Friday, April 01, 2016

ISM Manufacturing index increased to 51.8 in March

by Bill McBride on 4/01/2016 10:06:00 AM

The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in March after five months of contraction. The PMI was at 51.8% in March, up from 49.5% in February. The employment index was at 48.1%, down slightly from 48.5% in February, and the new orders index was at 58.3%, up sharply from February.

From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2016 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the first time in the last six months, while the overall economy grew for the 82nd 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® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The March PMI® registered 51.8 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the February reading of 49.5 percent. The New Orders Index registered 58.3 percent, an increase of 6.8 percentage points from the February reading of 51.5 percent. The Production Index registered 55.3 percent, 2.5 percentage points higher than the February reading of 52.8 percent. The Employment Index registered 48.1 percent, 0.4 percentage point below the February reading of 48.5 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 47 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points above the February reading of 45 percent. The Prices Index registered 51.5 percent, an increase of 13 percentage points above the February reading of 38.5 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the first time since October 2014. Manufacturing registered growth in March for the first time since August 2015, as 12 of our 18 industries reported sector growth, and 13 of our 18 industries reported an increase in new orders in March."
emphasis added
ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

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

This was above expectations of 50.5%, and suggests manufacturing expanded in March.