April 1, 2015
March PMI Reveals Slowing Growth in Manufacturing
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 27th consecutive month as the PMI registered 51.5 percent, reports the Institute for Supply Management, Tempe, Ariz. The PMI fell 1.5 percentage points from February, continuing a slowing growth trend since reaching its peak in late 2014. Any reading above 50 percent represents growth.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed, 10 reported growth in March, including fabricated metal products, machinery and primary metals. Appliances and components, electrical equipment and miscellaneous manufacturing were among the seven reporting contraction.
The PMI for March, if annualized, corresponds to a 2.6 percent increase in GDP, says Bradley J. Holcomb, chairman of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. The average PMI for January through March of 52.6 percent corresponds to a 3.0 percent increase in GDP.
The trend of slowing growth was evident in other indices. New Orders fell 0.7 percentage points to 51.8 percent; the Employment Index registered 50 percent, 1.4 percentage points below February; and the Production Index registered 53.8 percent, a modest gain from the previous month.