US economic activity remains strong

9 April 2010

9 April 2010 | Allie Anderson

Both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors expanded last month to drive the continued economic recovery in the US, according to figures released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

The manufacturing ISM Report on Business (RoB) for March showed activity reached 59.6 per cent, up on February’s figure of 56.5 per cent, showing expansion for the eighth consecutive month.

The 14 industries recording growth included construction, retail trade and finance and insurance. Production increased to 61.1 per cent and employment also grew, but at a slower rate than in February.

ISM’s non-manufacturing RoB for March also showed expansion for the third consecutive month, reaching 55.4 per cent from February’s figure of 53 per cent. Growth in new export orders reached 57.5 per cent having contracted to 47 per cent in February. Employment in this sector was still contracting – registering 49.8 per cent – but more slowly than the previous month, when it came in at 48.6 per cent.

While some urged caution, one non-manufacturing RoB respondent said: “Business conditions have returned to pre-recession [levels]. Our business is up significantly since 2009. We are very positive about the upcoming year.”

Further coverage of PMI reports is available here.

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