U.S. manufacturing economy continues expansion

The Institute for Supply Management's monthly report of manufacturing activity remains in positive territory for the 22nd consecutive month.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Ariz., USA) on April 1 reported that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in March 2011 for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 22nd consecutive month. ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 61.2 percent, following a February value of 61.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The recent trend of rapid growth in the manufacturing sector continued in March, as the PMI registered above 60 percent for the third consecutive month. The component indexes of the PMI remain at very positive levels and signal strong sector performance in the first quarter. While manufacturers are benefiting from strength in new orders and production, there is significant concern with regard to commodity prices. Many manufacturers indicate the prices they have to pay for inputs are rising, and there is concern about the impact of higher prices on their margins.”

12-month ISM Manufacturing Index history (percent):

  • March 2011: 61.2
  • February 2011: 61.4
  • January 2011: 60.8
  • December 2010: 57.0
  • November 2010: 56.6
  • October 2010: 56.9
  • September 2010: 54.4
  • August 2010: 56.3
  • July 2010: 55.5
  • June 2010: 56.2
  • May 2010: 59.7
  • April 2010: 60.4