March data pointed to a positive month for U.S. manufacturing business conditions, with momentum building again after a slowdown at the turn of the year. This was highlighted by stronger rates of output and new business growth, alongside sustained job creation during the latest survey period. New export sales remained a source of weakness in March, partly reflecting the stronger exchange rate. Meanwhile, input costs decreased for the third month running, which led to the weakest rise in factory gate charges since May 2014.
At 55.7 in March, up from 55.1 in February, the seasonally adjusted final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered above the 50.0 no-change threshold, thereby signaling an overall upturn in business conditions.