By Case Sketch

As the weather finally starts to turn, it seems the economy has survived the bitter winter.  With growth over this past month, including 192,000 more jobs created, it appears the lull caused by poor weather has passed, and the manufacturing industry has developed good traction heading into the spring.

Indicators of Manufacturing Growth & Inventory Concerns

Overall, March marks the tenth straight month in which economic activity in the manufacturing sector has expanded.  This expansion has been orchestrated by continued growth in prices, rising employment, and new orders. Also, after posting declining rates of production in February, the ISM production index made a tremendous turn around gaining 7.7 percentage points and putting the index back on the right track into expansion.

Despite the positive outlook, customers are still cautious to carry inventory. The customers’ inventories index dropped to nearly a three-year low.  Indicating manufacturing industries believe customers are carrying too little inventory.

This information was provided by the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Report and represents 18 different manufacturing industries of which 14 have shown growth in March. This leaves plenty of room for optimism as we head for nicer weather and continue into the year with growth.