The expansion of the U.S. manufacturing sector strengthened to the second-fastest pace in almost a year during March. This was signaled by the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI, which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies, rising to 54.9 from 54.3 in February, consistent with a solid rate of growth overall.
Production at manufacturing companies rose further during March and, although having slowed from an 11-month high in February, the rate of growth remained strong. Firms generally linked higher output levels to increased new orders and improving market conditions.
Manufacturers hired additional staff in March, with the overall rise in employment greater than in February. Companies largely attributed the solid rate of job creation to higher production requirements.