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Manufacturing expanded in March, according to the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management Report on Business.
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The PMI registered 53.4 percent for the month, up 1 percentage point over February's reading, indicating expansion in the sector.
The Production Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1 percent, and the Employment Index increased 2.9 percentage points to 56.1 percent. The New Orders Index decreased 0.4 percentage points to 54.5 percent, indicating continuing expansion albeit at a slightly slower pace.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in March: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Machinery; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The two industries reporting contraction in March are: Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products.