April 1, 2019
The Institute for Supply Management reported on Monday that U.S. manufacturers grew at a faster pace in March, largely on the coattails of employment gains that drove new orders and production. The survey of purchasing managers pushed up the group’s manufacturing index to 55.3 last month, from 54.2 in February.
An index reading above 50 means manufacturing is leaning toward expansion, a condition that’s existed for 31 months. ISM’s survey is an indication that economic growth is expected to continue, despite challenges from the global economy, steel tariffs and the trade battle between the U.S. and China.
“The primary driver here was employment,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee. “People are hiring to make sure they have the outputs needed to meet the demand in April, May and June.”
The New Orders Index registered 57.4%, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from the February reading of 55.5%. The Production Index registered 55.8%, a 1-percentage point increase compared to the February reading of 54.8%. The Employment Index registered 57.5%, an increase of 5.2 percentage points from the February reading of 52.3%.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser