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March Manufacturing ISM Report On Business: PMI at 50.9%

Press release from the issuing company

TEMPE, Ariz.--April 2, 2007-- Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March for the second consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 65th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "Manufacturing improved slightly in March as the PMI reflected growth for the second consecutive month. The New Orders and Production Indexes advanced while the Employment and Inventories Indexes declined. A positive for March is the Customers' Inventories Index (falling below 50 percent after five consecutive months above the breakeven line), which is a possible indication that manufacturers' inventories are nearing satisfactory levels. On the negative side, prices appear to be surging for certain commodities in the face of slower growth." TOP PERFORMING INDUSTRIES The 10 industries reporting growth in March -- listed in order -- are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Wood Products; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Textile Mills. WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING ... -- "Slowdown evident, could be based on inventory in the channel." (Computer & Electronic Products) -- "Industry preparing customers for price increases related to corn/grain cost increases." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products) -- "Raw material cost soared due to the largest one-month price increase for ferrous scrap since September of 2005." (Primary Metals) -- "General business conditions show significant signs of slowing in the manufacturing sector." (Transportation Equipment) -- "Business is slowing, but we are slightly ahead of last year's sales. We are projecting a flat year in sales for 2007." (Furniture & Related Products)