United States: Manufacturing index falls to lowest level in three months
April 1, 2013
In March, the ISM manufacturing index fell to 51.3% from 54.2% in February. The reading caught markets by surprise, as they had expected the index to fall only to 54.0% and marks, in fact, the lowest level since December 2012.
Four out of five components of the index decreased over the previous month. Most notably, the new orders index fell by 6.4 percentage points to 51.4%, while the production index lost 5.4 percentage points to 52.2%. Moreover, both the supplier deliveries and the inventories indices fell below the 50% threshold, indicating a contraction in those categories. According to the ISM, the decline in March indicates that manufacturing is expanding at a slower rate.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists project industrial output to rise 2.8%, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, panellists see industrial production accelerating to a 4.5% expansion.