TEMPE, AZ - Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the eighth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 11th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The report was issued by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The manufacturing sector grew for the eighth consecutive month during March. The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI is the fastest since July 2004. Both new orders and production rose above 60 percent this month, closing the first quarter with significant momentum going forward. Although the Employment Index decreased 1 percentage point to 55.1% from February’s reading of 56.1%, signs for employment in the sector continue to improve as the index registered a 10% month-over-month improvement, indicating that manufacturers are continuing to fill vacancies. The Inventories Index provided a surprise as it indicated growth for the first time following 46 months of liquidation - perhaps signaling manufacturers’ willingness to increase inventories based on expected levels of activity.”

The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business is published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management. The Institute for Supply Management™, established in 1915, is the largest supply management organization in the world as well as one of the most respected. ISM’s mission is to lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities and education. This report has been issued by the association since 1931, except for a four-year interruption during World War II.

The full text version of the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business is at www.ism.ws.