ISM's Purchasing Managers' Index Positive in March

Tempe, AZ, April 1, 2024-The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 50.3% in March, up 2.5 percentage points from the 47.8% recorded in February, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The overall economy continued in expansion for the 47th month after one month of contraction in April 2020. (A Manufacturing PMI above 42.5%, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy.) 

The New Orders Index moved back into expansion territory at 51.4%, 2.2 percentage points higher than the 49.2% recorded in February. 

The March reading of the Production Index (54.6%) is 6.2 percentage points higher than February’s figure of 48.4%. 

The Prices Index registered 55.8%, up 3.3 percentage points compared to the reading of 52.5% in February. 

The Backlog of Orders Index registered 46.3%, the same reading as in February. 

The Employment Index registered 47.4%, up 1.5 percentage points from February’s figure of 45.9%.

The Supplier Deliveries Index figure of 49.9% is 0.2 percentage point lower than the 50.1% recorded in February. (Supplier Deliveries is the only ISM Report On Business index that is inversed; a reading of above 50% indicates slower deliveries, which is typical as the economy improves and customer demand increases.) 

The Inventories Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 48.2% following a reading of 45.3% in February.

The New Export Orders Index reading of 51.6% is the same reading as registered in February. 

The Imports Index continued in expansion territory, registering 53%, the same figure as in February. Both indexes repeated their highest readings since July 2022, when the New Export Orders Index registered 52.6% and the Imports Index registered 54.4%.

The U.S. manufacturing sector moved into expansion for the first time since September 2022. Demand was positive, output strengthened and inputs remained accommodative. 

The nine manufacturing industries reporting growth in March-in order-are textile mills; nonmetallic mineral products; paper products; petroleum & coal products; primary metals; food, beverage & tobacco products; fabricated metal products; chemical products; and transportation equipment. The six industries reporting contraction in March-in the following order-are furniture & related products; plastics & rubber products; electrical equipment, appliances & components; machinery; computer & electronic products; and miscellaneous manufacturing.