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ISM: 'March not a good month'. (Market Watch).

TEMPE, AZ -- Manufacturing contracted in March, breaking a four-month growth streak, according to a survey of U.S. purchasing executives. The March PMI was 46.2%, down 4.3 points from February. New orders declined 6.1 points, to 46.2% from 52.3%. Production took a big hit, falling to 46.3%. A PMI reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.

Norbert Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management, which releases the report, said, "March wasn't a good month for manufacturing, as the sector appears to have lost its momentum."

New orders fell below 50%, breaking a six-month growth spurt, and production dropped below 50% for the first time in 16 months. Order backlogs fell for the ninth straight month, while supplier deliveries slowed for the 15th consecutive month. Manufacturer prices rose for the 13th straight month. New export orders grew for the 15th consecutive month, while imports grew for the fifth time in a row. The employment index was below breakeven for the 30th straight month.

Anecdotal comments from purchasing and supply executives focused on war, soft demand, energy availability and escalating prices.
March Madness

 NOV. DEC. JAN. FEB. MARCH

PMI 49.2 54.7 53.9 50.5 46.2
New orders 49.9 63.3 59.7 52.3 46.2
Production 54.6 55.6 56.3 55.4 46.3
Inventories 42.1 46.2 46.2 43.8 42.3
Customer inventories 46.5 43.0 43.0 46.0 42.0
Backlogs 42.5 46.5 46.5 49.0 41.5

Source: Institute for Supply Management, April 2003
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Title Annotation:Institute for Supply Management
Author:Buetow, Mike
Publication:Printed Circuit Design & Manufacture
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:272
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