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 by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 53.4%, an increase of 1 percentage point from February's reading of 52.4%, 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% to 58.3%, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1%. 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."
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 are reporting growth in March, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The two industries reporting contraction in March are: Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products.
Manufacturing continued its growth in March as the PMI registered 53.4%, an increase of 1 percentage point when compared to February's reading of 52.4%. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.
A PMI in excess of 42.6%, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Therefore, the PMI indicates growth for the 34th consecutive month in the overall economy, as well as expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 32nd consecutive month. Holcomb stated, "The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through March (53.3%) corresponds to a 3.6% increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, if the PMI for March (53.4%) is annualized, it corresponds to a 3.7% increase in real GDP annually."