Business »

US manufacturing industry strong in March: Markit

H.S. Borji
Share on StockTwits
Published on
www.finances.com
US manufacturing industry strong in March: Markit

The US manufacturing industry continued to improve in March, as output and new orders rose at a sharp pace and employment increased for the ninth consecutive month.

Markit Group’s gauge of US manufacturing activity eased from 57.1 to 55.5 in March, after rising more than three percentage points the previous month. Economists forecast a monthly reading of 56.5. A reading above 50 is a general sign of expansion in manufacturing activity, whereas a reading below that level signifies contraction.

Although manufacturing activity fell from a 45-month high, business conditions continued to rise at a steady rate. Total output, new orders and new export orders continued to expand in March, Markit data showed.

Inflows of new work spurred job creation for the ninth consecutive month, as improved business confidence led to a steady uptake in staff. Employment rose faster than the nine-month average, with managers expressing greater optimism toward US recovery.

“The manufacturing PMI adds to evidence that the sector has shrugged off the weather-related weakness seen earlier the year, with strong demand encouraging firms to expand and hire new staff at a robust pace,” wrote Markit chief economist Chris Williamson in a press release. “The buoyant growth in March rounds off the best quarter for three years, indicating that the sector should provide a robust contribution to GDP in the first quarter.”

The US economy, thought to have suffered a significant setback this winter, appears to have regained its momentum in the final month of Q1. Of particular note is the sustained upturn in hiring, which adds further credibility to the recovery efforts. The PMI suggests manufacturing will continue to be a key driver of the US recovery following the weather-related soft patch.

Share on StockTwits