Today Institute for Supply Chain Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report was released for March and showed growth for the 32nd consecutive month. This is positive news for manufacturers as they continue to lead our economic recovery.
The index rose to 53.4 percent in March from 52.4 percent in February. And one particular area of note is the Production Index increased by 3 percentage points to 58.3 percent.
Across manufacturing 15 of the 18 industries reported growth in March including: 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 concerning news is that Computer and Electronics Products and the Chemical Products industries reported a contraction. While manufacturing has continued to show growth this has not translated across all sectors. Manufacturers are still facing numerous headwinds which are limiting their ability to grow.
Manufacturers overall are optimistic but it’s clear we have some ground makeup. One company surveyed in the Wood Products industry commented, “Sales appear to be picking up over last year at this time, but still have a ways to go.”