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Financial News: U.S. Manufacturing Index Pulls Back Off Highest Level

U.S. Manufacturing Index Pulls Back Off Highest Level In Over Two Years

04/03/2017 - 10:22:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector continued to expand in the month of March, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday, although the pace of growth slowed compared to the previous month.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index dipped to 57.2 in March from 57.7 in February, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to slip to 57.0.

The index gave back ground after climbing to its highest level since reaching 57.9 in August of 2014 in the previous month.

The pullback by the index reflected a notable slowdown in the pace of production growth, as the production index tumbled to 57.6 in March from 62.9 in February.

The new orders index also fell to 64.5 in March from 65.1 in February, indicating a modest slowdown in the pace of new orders growth.

On the other hand, the ISM said the employment index jumped to 58.9 in March from 54.2 in February, suggesting a faster rate of job growth in the manufacturing sector.

The prices index also climbed to 70.5 in March from 68.0 in February, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 13th consecutive month.

The ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on activity in the service sector on Wednesday. The index of activity in the service sector is expected to dip to 57.0 in March from 57.6 in February.

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