The Institute for Supply Management’s report on PMI (Purchasing manager’s Index) for March 2014 shows the index increasing from 53.2 to 53.7.
The index remains above 50, indicating a growing economy, and more growth in March than February. This is the tenth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing according to the index.
However the PMI did not meet the 54.0 consensus forecast. This slower than expected growth in the PMI does not support the theory going around that it was “just the weather” suppressing February activity.
The March report showed slowing labor demand- the ISM employment index dropped to 51.1 from 52.3 in February. This is contrary to PMPA’s Monthly survey for employment which remains strongly positive for employment prospects in our shops.
PMPA’s February Business Trends Report showed that our precision machining industry is maintaining strong sales (with expected monthly variability) and positive prospects going into calendar year 2014. Positive levels of hours worked, shipments, overtime and profitability are great omens for our industry in the quarter ahead. Our indicators show strong prospects for the balance of first quarter 2014.