Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The Institute for Supply Management reported a rebound in manufacturing activity during the month of March, though the industry continues to contract.
The nation's broadest measure of the health of the manufacturing sector rose from 48.3 in February to 48.6 in March. Recall that a reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding and below 50 indicates that it is generally contracting.
Supplier deliveries rose from 50.1 to 53. 6 and employment improved slightly from 46.0 to 49.2 but prices posted the biggest increase, from 75.5 to 83.5 reflecting a surge in commodity prices during the reporting period.
New orders, the best predictor of economic growth in the near-term, led the declining categories falling from 49.1 in February to 46.5 in March.