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Financial News: U.S. Manufacturing Index Indicates Slower Growth In March

U.S. Manufacturing Index Indicates Slower Growth In March

04/02/2018 - 10:33:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector grew at a slower than expected rate in the month of March, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index fell to 59.3 in March from 60.8 in February, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 60.0.

The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a notable slowdown in the pace of job growth in the manufacturing sector, as the employment index dropped to 57.3 in March from 59.7 in February.

The new orders index also slid to 61.9 in March from 64.2 in February, while the production index dipped to 61.0 from 62.0.

The ISM said the supplier deliveries index also edged down to 60.6 in March from 61.1 in February, with a reading above 50 percent indicating slower deliveries

"Demand remains robust, but the nation's employment resources and supply chains are still struggling to keep up," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

On the inflation front, the prices index jumped to 78.1 in March from 74.2 in the previous month, reaching its highest level since April of 2011.

The ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on Wednesday on activity in the service sector in the month of March.

The non-manufacturing index is expected to slip to 59.0 in March from 59.5 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector.

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