The ISM manufacturing index indicated contraction in March. The PMI was at 49.1% in March, down from 50.1% in February. The employment index was at 43.8%, down from 46.9% last month, and the new orders index was at 42.2%, down from 49.8%.
From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2020 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in March, and the overall economy grew for the 131st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The March PMI® registered 49.1 percent, down 1 percentage point from the February reading of 50.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 42.2 percent, a decrease of 7.6 percentage points from the February reading of 49.8 percent. The Production Index registered 47.7 percent, down 2.6 percentage points compared to the February reading of 50.3 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 45.9 percent, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points compared to the February reading of 50.3 percent. The Employment Index registered 43.8 percent, a decrease of 3.1 percentage points from the February reading of 46.9 percent.
Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.
This was above expectations of 45.0%, and suggests manufacturing contracted in March.
The index will be much worse in April due to COVID-19.