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Manufacturing Index Shows Economic Expansion in Overall Economy for 22 Months Straight

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 57.1% in March—following a February reading of 58.6%, according to the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM) March 2022 Manufacturing Report On Business. This decrease in 1.5 percentage points indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 22nd month in a row and is the PMI's lowest rating since September 2020.

"The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment," said Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "In March, progress was made to solve the labor shortage problems at all tiers of the supply chain, which will result in improved factory throughput and supplier deliveries." Other indices reported for March include:

  • New orders (53.8%)—down 7.9% compared to February (61.7%)
  • Production (54.5%)—4% decrease compared to February (58.5%)
  • Prices (87.1%)—up 11.5% compared to February (75.6%)
  • Backlog of orders (60%)—5% lower than February (65%)
  • Employment (56.3%)—3.4% higher than February (52.9%)
  • Supplier deliveries (65.4%)— a decrease of 0.7% compared to February (66.1%)
  • Inventories (55.0%)—1.9 % higher than February (53.6%)
  • New export orders (53.2%)—down 3.9% compared to February (57.1%)
  • Imports (51.8%)—3.6% decrease from February (55.4%)

"Manufacturing performed well for the 22nd straight month, with demand registering slower month-over-month growth (likely due to extended lead times) and consumption softening slightly (due to labor force improvement)," Fiore said. "Omicron impacts are being felt by overseas partners, and the impact to the manufacturing community is a potential headwind."

Bryan Mason, editorial associate
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Friday, 20 May 2022