Daily News: April 2, 2012

ISM: March Manufacturing Activity Expands

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 32nd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 34th consecutive month, according to the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The Purchasing Mangers Index (PMI) registered 53.4%, an increase of one percentage point from February’s reading of 52.4%, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 32nd consecutive month, said Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee

A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.

The Production Index increased three percentage points from February’s reading of 55.3% to 58.3%, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1%. 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.

To read the full report, click here.