United States: ISM manufacturing index climbs in March and indicates expansion
April 1, 2016
In March, the ISM manufacturing index jumped to 51.8 in March from 49.5 in February, which beat the 51.0 the markets had expected. The index rose in March for third consecutive month and recovered the ground lost since December, when the indicator fell to the lowest level in six and half years. Also, March’s result signaled the first outright expansion in the manufacturing sector since August 2015 as the indicator jumped above the 50-threshold that distinguishes between expansion and contraction in the sector.
Looking at the details, the improvement in March reflected that the production and new orders sub-components increased meaningfully over the previous month. New export orders increased in March, while the employment component fell. This was in line with softer manufacturing employment reported in the U.S. labor survey.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist