OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Manufacturing Sector Continues Expansion in March

Manufacturing

By Todd Lucas

For a tenth straight month, the manufacturing sector expanded, according the Institute for Supply Manufacturing (ISM).  The expansion was primarily driven by increases in production and new orders.

ISM’s index for March increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February.  Readings above 50 indicate expansion.  New orders increased by 0.6 percentage points to 55.1% and production increased 7.7 percentage points to 55.9%.  The increase in production was the largest since June 2009.

Increases were also seen in the labor market, with employers adding 200,000 jobs in March, the ninth such month that employment grew.  However, the growth experienced in March slowed compared to previous months.

The United States is also outpacing its global counterparts.  In China’s economy, which is the world’s second largest economy, factory production dropped to its lowest level since July of 2013.  Additionally, manufacturing in the euro zone remained relatively unchanged from February.

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