Growth in regional manufacturing index slows

The pace of growth for manufacturing in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois slowed in March, according to the latest Institute of Supply Management (ISM)-Marquette University Monthly Survey on Manufacturing Activity.

The seasonally adjusted March Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March was 51.8, down from 58.6 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
The March index reported growth in the PMI, production, employment, prices, exports and imports, but declines in new orders, inventories and backlogs of orders.
Among some of the comments from responding manufacturers in the survey:
“Currently we are running at capacity. The challenge is to continue to run at this pace while adding new capacity.”
“Since last month, there’s inflationary pressure on cost drivers relating to chemicals and petroleum-based products.”
“Stronger demand than expected supports increased production.”
“Beginning to add back some of the positions cut in ’09; and support expanded business.”

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