Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 22nd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business (www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm).
The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The recent trend of rapid growth in the manufacturing sector continued in March, as the PMI registered above 60 percent for the third consecutive month. The component indexes of the PMI remain at very positive levels and signal strong sector performance in the first quarter. While manufacturers are benefiting from strength in new orders and production, there is significant concern with regard to commodity prices. Many manufacturers indicate the prices they have to pay for inputs are rising, and there is concern about the impact of higher prices on their margins."
Performance by industry
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 are reporting growth in March, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Chemical Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Printing & Related Support Activities. The two industries reporting contraction in March are: Wood Products and Primary Metals.
|MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE|
|Customers' Inventories||39.5||40.0||-0.5||Too Low||Faster||24|
|Backlog of Orders||52.5||59.0||-6.5||Growing||Slower||3|
*Number of months moving in current direction.
Commodities reported up/down in price and in short supply
Commodities up in price
Aluminum (7); Aluminum Products (3); Brass (4); Caustic Soda; Chemicals; Cocoa/Cocoa Powder (2); Copper (8); Copper Based Products (5); Corn (7); Corn Syrup; Diesel (4); Electronic Components; Fuel Oils (3); Fuel Surcharges; High Density Polyethylene; Nickel (2); PET; Plastics (3); Plastic Products (3); Plastic Resins (5); Polyethylene (2); Polyethylene Resin (3); Polypropylene (3); Resins; Resin Based Products; Rubber; Rubber Products (2); Silver; Stainless Steel (5); Steel (7); Steel — Hot Rolled (2); Steel Products (4); Steel Surcharges (3); Sugar (3); and Transportation Rates.
Commodities down in price
Natural Gas is the only commodity reported down in price.
Commodities in short supply
Cocoa Powder (2); Electric Components (3); and Titanium Dioxide.