Manufacturing activity up in March

April 1, 2005

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in March for the 22nd consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 41st consecutive month, said the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector maintained its strength in March, finishing the first quarter in a relatively strong position. Growth in New Orders and Inventories helped offset lower index readings in Production, Supplier Deliveries and Employment. Price inflation continues to present a problem for manufacturers as the Prices Index gained significant momentum."

The PMI for March registered 55.2 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point when compared to February's seasonally adjusted reading of 55.3 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The 16 industries reporting growth in March— listed in order —are: Primary Metals; Textiles; Glass, Stone & Aggregate; Wood & Wood Products; Instruments & Photographic Equipment; Electronic Components & Equipment; Rubber & Plastic Products; Furniture; Miscellaneous; Industrial & Commercial Equipment & Computers; Chemicals; Fabricated Metals; Transportation & Equipment; Printing & Publishing; Apparel; and Food. The industries reporting the same level of activity as last month are: Tobacco and Petroleum. Paper is the only industry reporting decreased activity during March.

Fifteen industries reported increases in new orders for the month of March: Primary Metals; Textiles; Miscellaneous; Electronic Components & Equipment; Glass, Stone & Aggregate; Instruments & Photographic Equipment; Industrial & Commercial Equipment & Computers; Rubber & Plastic Products; Wood & Wood Products; Chemicals; Transportation & Equipment; Furniture; Fabricated Metals; Food; and Printing & Publishing.

Twelve industries reported growth in employment during March: Apparel; Wood & Wood Products; Paper; Electronic Components & Equipment; Printing & Publishing; Furniture; Transportation & Equipment; Rubber & Plastic Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metals; Industrial & Commercial Equipment & Computers; and Food.

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