US factories expand again in March but at slower pace

US factories expand again in March but at slower pace

Any reading above 50 is a sign of growth.

"Looking ahead, manufacturers should continue to recover over the near term, but the sector still faces bigger structural constraints", Shah said in a note.

Today: Japan: Large manufacturing index - Q1 2017; EU: Manufacturing PMI - March, Unemployment rate - February.

Moreover, firms have increased the purchasing level of their inputs last month, anticipating the rise in demand and price hike due to the depreciation of the Philippine peso.

This month's report shows the fastest growth in manufacturing production and new orders for six years, as manufacturers gained more work from both within and outside the Eurozone.

"More than twice as many firms reported growth in new export orders as against those whose experienced a contraction in demand", Mr O'Sullivan said.

Employment also continues to rise in the sector, jumping to the highest level since June 2011 at 58.9 from 54.2 in February, the sixth consecutive increase. It said this resulted in an overall increase in stocks of purchases. The reports pointed to strong economic fundamentals, despite growth appearing to have slowed sharply in the first quarter.

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The factory survey "compared favorably" to its long-run trend, according to Markit, with the slowdown centered on consumer-goods producers.

IHS Markit said manufacturers had also raised prices of final products as input expenses rose. "Purchasing costs are still a concern, with the average vendor delivery times lengthening and inflationary pressures are as prevalent as always".

PMI shows fastest expansion in five months.

Markit found that construction companies remain relatively upbeat about their immediate future, with optimism regarding year-ahead business activity picking up in March to its second-highest since December 2015. The sub-index for electronics - which accounts for one-third of the Republic's manufacturing performance - gained 0.4 point from the previous month to 51.8.

"PMI data for March reveals positive developments in the Indian manufacturing sector", said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit and author of the report.

The services sector recorded the highest growth, of 6.52 per cent, representing 2.65 percentage points of total value.