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Financial News: U.S. Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Indicates Faster Gro

U.S. Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Indicates Faster Growth In March

04/01/2019 - 10:28:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Indicating a faster rate of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of March, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Monday showing an unexpected increase by its index of activity in the sector.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 55.3 in March after falling to 54.2 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

"Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, supported by gains in new orders and employment," said Timothy Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

The report said the new orders index climbed to 57.4 in March from 55.5 in February, while the production index ticked up to 55.8 from 54.8.

The employment index also surged up to 57.5 in March from 52.3 in February, indicating a notable acceleration in the rate of job growth in the manufacturing sector. The index reached its highest level since November of 2018.

On the inflation front, the prices index jumped to 54.3 in March from 49.4 in February, pointing to a return of increasing raw materials prices after a two-month respite.

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 dip to 58.0 in March from 59.7 in February, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth in the service sector.

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