Today's ISM Manufacturing report for the month of March rose for the second straight month, although it was slightly lower than expected. While economists were expecting a reading of 54.0, the actual level was 53.7. The chart below shows the historical readings of the ISM Manufacturing report going back to 2000. As shown, the index has now regained nearly half of the decline it saw from November 2013 to January when it dropped from 57.0 down to 51.3.
(click to enlarge)The table below shows the breakdown of each of the ISM Manufacturing Index's 10 main components. As shown, Customer Inventories is the only component that is currently below 50, and is one of only four components that declined relative to February. On the positive side, five components saw increases this month led by Production which increased from 48.2 up to 55.9. That was the largest monthly increase for that component since June 2009. Compared to a year ago, this month's report was a little more encouraging with seven out of 10 components showing improvement.