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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ISM Manufacturing Index Reports Slow Growth

The ISM Manufacturing index decreased 1.4 points to 51.5 in March. Index readings above 50 indicate expansion in the manufacturing economy. Respondents again cited challenges regarding the West Coast port slowdown, as well as issues stemming from lower oil prices, which had positive and negative effects depending on the industry. Of the 18 manufacturing industries indexed, 10 reported growth in March, down from 12 in February.

The indices for both new orders and inventories declined in March, dropping by 0.7 and 1.0 points, respectively, but remained above the 50 point mark. The gap between these two indices was only 0.3 points, indicating that production is more or less on pace with demand.

The employment index decreased to 50.0 in March, down 1.4 points from February. Seven of the 18 manufacturing industries reported employment growth. Additionally, seven industries reported a decline in employment: Apparel; Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment; Appliances and Components; Computer and Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

Exports orders declined 1.0 point to 47.5, marking the third consecutive month of contraction. Imports decreased 1.5 points to 52.5.

The Prices Index rose to 39.0, up 4 points from February, marking the fifth consecutive month of raw material prices decreasing.

Read the ISM report

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