ISM Manufacturing Index Falls In March To Lowest Rate Since May 2013

U.S. manufacturers grew at the slowest pace in March in almost two years and employment levels also weakened, a survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index declined to 51.5% last month from 52.9% in February, marking the fifth straight drop and falling well short of Wall Street's forecast. Still, readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. The employment gauge slipped 1.4 points to 50%. The ISM's new-orders index retreated to 51.8% from 52.5%. Only 10 of the 18 industries tracked by ISM reported growth last month while seven recorded a decline.

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