Predictions are for a somewhat expansionary reading of 51.5 (Briefing.com) and a bit stronger 52.5 (“Markets”), down from 52.9 last monnth (any reading above 50 indicates expansion).
The report will be here at 10:00 a.m.
HERE IT IS (permanent link): Briefing.com nailed it (some paragraph breaks added by me) —
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 27th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 70th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
… The March PMI® registered 51.5 percent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from February’s reading of 52.9 percent.
The New Orders Index registered 51.8 percent, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the reading of 52.5 percent in February. The Production Index registered 53.8 percent, 0.1 percentage point above the February reading of 53.7 percent.
The Employment Index registered 50 percent, 1.4 percentage points below the February reading of 51.4 percent, reflecting unchanged employment levels from February. Inventories of raw materials registered 51.5 percent, a decrease of 1 percentage point from the February reading of 52.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 39 percent, 4 percentage points above the February reading of 35 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the fifth consecutive month.
Comments from the panel refer to continuing challenges from the West Coast port issue, lower oil prices having both positive and negative impacts depending upon the industry, residual effects of the harsh winter, higher costs of healthcare premiums, and challenges associated with the stronger dollar on international business.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 10 are reporting growth in March … seven industries … (had) contraction in March …
That 10-7 split on growing vs. contracting is the narrowest differential in quie some time.
It remains to be seen whether the sleuths at Zero Hedge or elsewhere detect any gamesmanship in ISM’s seasonalizing.