The March US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index conducted by Markit came in at 55.6, up from the 55.3 final February figure. Today’s headline number was below the Investing.com forecast of 55.7. Markit’s Manufacturing PMI is a diffusion index: A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.
Here is an excerpt from Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit in their latest press release:
“US factories reported a strong end to the first quarter, with the PMI advancing to a three-year high. The goods producing sector should therefore make a positive contribution to economic growth in the first quarter, as rising demand fueled further improvements in factory production.
“Optimism about the year ahead has meanwhile also risen to its highest for three years, generating yet another solid payroll gain and suggesting strong growth momentum will be sustained in the second quarter.” [Press Release]
Here is a snapshot of the series since mid-2012.
Here is an overlay with the equivalent PMI survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management (see our full article on this series here, note that ).
The next chart uses a three-month moving average of the two rather volatile series to facilitate our understanding of the current trend.