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Markit PMI drops in March

Posted on April 1st, 2014 Read time: 1 minutes

The final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) for March came in at a reading of 55.5, a slight decrease from February's mark of 57.1. Although this is a bit of a drop, a reading of over 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing industry.

March's index reading is slightly lower than economists' original predictions of 56, according to Business​ Insider. Despite the index drop, Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said in a statement many sectors of the manufacturing industry have shown positive growth over the past month.

"The fall in the composite Manufacturing PMI masks the ongoing resilience of output, new orders and employment growth, all of which continued to rise at historically strong rates in March," Williamson said. "That's because the PMI also includes a measure of supplier delivery times, which dragged the PMI down but only because deliveries were quicker as a result of improved weather."

With an increase of output and new orders, businesses may feel the need to hire more full-time, part-time and temporary workers to meet the demands of the industry. Williamson believes employment will grow over the next few months.

"The survey indicates that factory output growth has picked up again after the weather-related disruptions seen at the start of the year, presenting policymakers with an encouraging picture of a healthy goods- producing sector that is generating jobs at the rate of 15,000 to 20,000 per month," said Williamson.

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