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Manufacturing Sector Continues to Grow

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Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM from the Institute for Supply Management, Tempe, Ariz.

The March PMI registered 59.3 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the February reading but still well above the figure representing growth in the manufacturing sector.

Of the 18 industries that report to ISM, all but one noted growth in March. Fabricated metal products represented the segment with the strongest growth during the month.

Other indices reporting slower growth in March included the New Orders Index at 61.9 percent, a 2.3 percentage point decline from February; Production Index at 61 percent, down 1 percent from February; and The Employment Index at 57.3 percent; down 2.4 percent from the prior month.

The March PMI, if annualized, would correspond to a 4.9 percent increase in real GDP, according to Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. 

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