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Mfg ISM Report: Sector Fails to Grow, PMI Below 50%

Press release from the issuing company

April 1, 2008 - Tempe, Arizona - Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in March, while the overall economy grew for the 77th 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. "The manufacturing sector failed to grow in March as the PMI fell below 50 percent for the second consecutive month. This completes the weakest quarterly performance for the U.S. economy since Q2 of 2003. Manufacturers' order backlogs continue to erode as the New Orders Index failed to grow for the fourth consecutive month. Additionally, manufacturers continue to experience heavy cost pressures, as the prices they pay are still rising even with slower overall demand. Some manufacturers are still benefiting from strong export demand and continue to see growth in export orders."

Performance by Industry:

The eight industries reporting growth in March - listed in order - are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Primary Metals; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The industries reporting contraction in March are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Paper Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.